Artifacts

Stella Uzdawinis's Office of Strategic Services Pendant

Artifact Details

This pin commemorated OSS veterans for their service in World War II.

During World War II, Stella Uzdawinis served as a civilian in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). She was assigned to the Research and Analysis Branch; this office analyzed enemy intentions and capabilities. She then went on to work in the Secret Intelligence Branch (SI) that was directly involved in the secret collection of intelligence.

While assigned to SI, she was stationed in France and worked as a communicator, probably a Lithuanian translator. After the war she was employed as a civilian in the US Army until her retirement in April 1968. She never told any of her family about her career with the OSS, which they did not learn of until after her death when they found photos and this pendant.

Shortly after the end of the war and upon the disbanding of OSS, General Donovan sent OSS veterans a letter offering the pin:

28 September 1945

To Former Members of OSS:

It is my pleasure to forward to you the enclosed certificate commemorating your service in World War II as a members of the Office of Strategic Services. This certificate exemplifies in a tangible way my feeling that some such recognition should be given to personnel of OSS as evidence of the resourcefulness, courage and devotion to duty shown by the men and women of the Agency who provided our Nation with an unprecedented service which hastened the day of victory.

To provide identification of the members of the organization, a group of former OSS associates has arranged for the design and manufacture of insignia available to those who are receiving certificates. The insignia is a lapel emblem which has the letters “OSS” stamped in gold on a red enamel background. At the request of this group there is enclosed herewith a coupon for the use of those who wish to procure such emblems.

I also enclose the text of remarks made at a meeting of OSS personnel held on 28 September, and a copy of President Truman’s letter to me. The credit for OSS accomplishments belongs to the superior personnel who made them possible. I am deeply grateful for your loyal and effective contribution.

Sincerely,

William J. Donovan
Director

Artifact Specs

3 cm x 1.2 cm x .3 cm
(L x W x H)

Learn More

The Office of Strategic Services: America’s First Intelligence Agency