Before there was a CIA, Gen. William “Wild Bill” Donovan led the Office of Strategic Services, a top-secret group whose job was to change the direction of World War II.
An awardee of the Medal of Honor during World War I, Donovan organized the Office of Strategic Services in 1942 as WWII was beginning. They managed intelligence networks and operated resistance cells behind enemy lines in Europe and Asia.
Now, over 70 years since their critical work for the Allies, Members of the OSS are being honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, thanks to an act of Congress signed in November 2016.
OSS veterans and members of the OSS Society had fought for years to get recognition for the agency.
Marvin Edwards, 95, was quoted as saying that he never thought they would actually get the recognition he believes they’ve been due.
The OSS was made up of members of all military branches. Almost 13,000 people served in the agency during its years of operation, Fox News reported.
There are currently less than 100 veterans of the OSS still alive, according to Senators who were instrumental in seeing the bill through.
The survivors are scheduled to receive their medals in a ceremony in 2017 that will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the OSS.