The New OSS Memorial


Special Forces
Rest In Peace
Jul 16, 2008
Seattle, Puget Sound — PNW
OSS, basis for CIA, has a special spot

By Drew Brooks
Staff writer

Veterans, family and friends of an organization that was the predecessor to the CIA and the precursor to special forces gathered Friday for the dedication of a new monument.

The Office of Strategic Services memorial now stands as one of 43 outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.

The OSS was “a truly unique organization, steeped in history and covered in secrecy,” said Ret. Col. Edwin “Andy” Anderson Jr., a member of the OSS Society.

Formed in 1942, the OSS served as the first organization to centralize, collect, analyze and disseminate information.

It was dissolved in 1945, following the end of World War II, but served as the basis for the CIA. The U.S. Special Operations Command uses an adaptation of the OSS insignia as its shoulder patch in honor of the organization.

“I think it’s altogether fitting and proper that we add this stone to the splendid collection,” said Ret. Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub, chairman of the OSS Society and the dedication’s speaker.

Singlaub said the war on terrorism reinforces the importance of the “fourth dimension of warfare” involving intelligence and psychological attacks in addition to the traditional land, sea and air battles.

“It is getting to be more and more a psychological war,” he said.
An era before spying

Before World War II, Singlaub said, the country didn’t allow spying, preferring to live by the code that “gentlemen do not read one another’s mail.”

“We learned at Pearl Harbor how foolish that attitude was,” Singlaub said.
Other veterans of the OSS helped Singlaub unveil the memorial before they watched a 30-minute film chronicling the career of OSS founder, Maj. Gen. William “Wild Bill” Donovan.

In the downtime between the film and the dedication, the audience was encouraged to view an exhibit on the OSS inside the museum.

The exhibit included a history of the organization and featured some of the tools used by its members, including a gun that fit into the palm of a hand, a camera hidden inside of a matchbox and a tiny coffin, used as a calling card and placed on the bodies of enemies killed in raids.

The OSS exhibit will be on display at the museum until mid-October.



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For those who are interested, W.E.B. Griffin writes about the OSS in his series "Men at War". Great writer who combines facts with fiction for the novels. I have enjoyed everyone of them.