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OSS 75th Anniversary

The Glorious Amateurs: OSS Turns 75!

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) is the precursor of today’s CIA. Created on June 13, 1942, just after America's entry into WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed William “Wild Bill” Donovan, a highly decorated WWI officer, as Director of the OSS. Donovan organized the OSS to reflect his vision of a national intelligence center, uniquely combining research and analysis, covert operations, counterintelligence, espionage, and technical development.

Today’s CIA derives a significant institutional and spiritual legacy from the OSS. In some cases, this legacy descended directly: key personnel, files, funds, procedures, and contacts. In other cases, the legacy is less tangible but no less real: the professionalization of intelligence, the organizational esprit de corps, the essential role of national intelligence in policy-making and war fighting. The CIA owes a debt of gratitude to the OSS and to Donovan, the charismatic leader and moving force behind it.

This month, as we celebrate OSS’s 75th anniversary, we will showcase some of the fine women and men who made up America’s first intelligence agency. Some stories will be quite familiar to many of you, while others highlight officers whose stories were lost to history only to be rediscovered after digging through the yellowed files of dusty archives. And some characters are famous personalities in their own right, but whose affiliation with OSS may surprise you.

Throughout the month of June, we will highlight a different OSS officer every day. Find links to their stories below. Visit often, as new links will appear daily.

* * * #OSS75 * * *

OSS Officer of the Day:

June 30: The Courage and Daring of "The Limping Lady" - Virginia Hall

June 29: Deceiving the Enemy - Barbara Lauwers

June 28: “What the Heck Was I Gonna Do With a Dumb Gun?” - The Derring-Do of Stephanie Czech Rader

June 27: Singing for a Cause - Marlene Dietrich

June 26: The Indomitable Maria Gulovich

June 25: The Analytical Giant - Russell Jack Smith

June 24: The OSS Architect Who Designed the UN Logo - Oliver Lincoln Lundquist

June 23: The Brainiest Man in Baseball: Moe Berg

June 22: The Mystery of Jane Wallis Burrell

June 21: "Hell on Wheels" - Lyman Kirkpatrick

June 20: Sala Dasananda - Free Thai Movement

June 19: Spy Girl - Betty McIntosh

June 18: The Negotiator - James Donovan

June 17: The First Female Intelligence Cartographer - Marion Frieswyk

June 16: From Star Student to True Patriot - Remembering Chiyoki "Chick" Ikeda

June 15: The Saboteur of Brenner Pass - Roderick Stephen Hall

June 14: Life Before French Cuisine - Julia Child

June 13: Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Office of Strategic Services! #OSS75

June 12: Legionnaire, OSS Officer, US Marine and Hollywood Heartthrob - Peter Ortiz

June 11: War Movies - John Ford

June 10: Fighting for Justice - Arthur Goldberg

June 9: Remembering CIA's Heroes - Nels "Benny" Benson

June 8: Christian Lambertsen and the Secret Story Behind Scuba

June 7: The Collector - Walter Pforzheimer

June 6: Ask Joe - Remembering CIA Founding Member and Hero, Joe Procaccino

June 5: The History-Maker - Remembering Ambassador Hugh Montgomery

June 4: From Walt Disney to War Movies - Robert Carey Broughton

June 3: The Spymaster's Assistant - Fisher Howe

June 2: CIA Trailblazer - Eloise Page

June1: The Father of American Intelligence - Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan

Posted: Jun 01, 2017 01:11 PM
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2017 10:32 PM