Office of Strategic Services (OSS) interview with Mr. Jim Fletcher. This veteran battled the Japanese behind enemy lines during WorldWar II. The interview is courtesy of the Witness to War Foundation witnesstowar.org. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a U.S. covert intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was the predecessor of the CIA. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a military order on 13 June 1942, to collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies. From 1943-1945, the OSS played a major role in training Kuomintang troops in China and Burma, helping to arm, train and supply resistance movements, including Mao Zedong’s Red Army in China, and in other areas occupied by the Axis Powers. The men and women of the OSS provided valuable intelligence, by infilitrating the Nazi heirarchy and directly sabotaging their plans. The names of all OSS personnel and documents of their OSS service, previously a closely guarded secret, were released by the US National Archives in August 2008. Among the 24,000 names released were those of Julia Child, Moe Berg, and John Ford.For many of us those names may not ring a bell, but back then they were famous people.
I hope you find this part of our nation’s history as fascinating as I do. To learn more please visit thefrontlines.com. Thank you.
Nathan W. Tierney
Interview Courtesy of the Witness to War Foundation witnesstowar.org.
Smith, Bradley F. The Shadow Warriors: OSS and the Origins of the CIA (New York: Basic, 1983)
Dunlop, Richard. Donovan: America’s Master Spy (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1982)
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