Dan Boylan at the Washington Times offers a piece on the WWII OSS receiving the Congressional Gold Medal.
The Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian distinction, was awarded on Wednesday to veterans of the Office of Strategic Services, the World War II intelligence agency and CIA predecessor.
In a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall stressing realism, idealism and above all else patriotism, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, presented the medal “on behalf of a very grateful nation.”
“It is the spirit of these veterans that endures,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, added. “Their pluck and patriotism proved that any American could rise to defeat the foes of freedom. How fortunate we are that these heroes answered the call.”
Created in 1942 by the legendary General William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan (seen in the below photo) to coordinate American intelligence efforts, in its heyday the OSS deployed more than 13,000 operatives, a third of them women, in addition to four future CIA directors.
Pioneers of sabotage, intelligence gathering, supplying resistance movements, capturing high-value targets and infiltrating enemy strongholds, OSS agents were in Gen. Donovan’s words “glorious amateurs” who undertook “some of the bravest acts of the war.”
Mr. Donovan’s statue now stands outside CIA headquarters in Virginia (photo above) and the OSS is widely recognized for playing a major role in the creation of the CIA and formation of the Army Green Berets and Navy Seals.
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