NOTE: the "Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard" referenced below is now defunct. The History Division is now located on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, near the Gray Research Center of the Marine Corps University.
- Primary Sources (Marine Corps)
- Biographical Files, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard. These are a series of alphabetized folders dealing with Marine Corps officers and enlisted personnel who have been the subject of historical research or public relations press releases. There is little material on Marines who served with OSS but a few names such as Carlson, Holcomb, Ortiz, Eddy, McHugh, and Gardner are listed.
- Classified Archives, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard. These contain extensive information on the formation of the Raider Battalions including much correspondence between the principal Marine Corps commanders. There is also a good file on Major Ortiz which was provided to Mr. Benis M. Frank by the Central Intelligence Agency. The bulk of the World War II material is subject to declassification upon request.
- Combined Lineal List, U.S. Marine Corps, (NAVMC 1005DP--3rd Revision), 1945. The "Blue Book" which provides basic data on all Marine Officers who were on active duty at the time of issue. Unlike its modern version, the wartime edition lists 'specialty codes'. These generally equate to the current Military Occupation Specialty (MOS.) A line-by-line examination of the 1945 edition reveals 39 officers with the specialty code MSS: Strategic Services. These officers were commissioned specifically for service with OSS. While the lineal list contains only officers and does not identify those Marines who were not commissioned for OSS duty but nevertheless served with the organization, it remains a most important primary source document.
- Manuscript Archives, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard. These contain a number of collected personal papers, photographs, musical scores, art work, and other historically valuable items which have been donated by various individuals. The most important documents utilized for this work come from the large (approximately 5 linear feet) collection of General Thomas Holcomb's personal papers. These are arranged in chronological order. There is no index, but patient research provides substantial reward.
- Oral History Archives, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard. An extensive collection of tape recordings
and typewritten transcripts covering a wide range of Marine Corps personalities of all ranks. The Oral Historian, Mr. Benis M. Frank is a walking encyclopedia of Marine history and can direct the researcher to primary source material which might otherwise be overlooked. This paper could not have been written without his aid and support.
- Primary Sources (Official Records other than Marine Corps)
- Central Intelligence Agency Archives, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. 20505. The majority of OSS operational records are in custody of the CIA. These are not available for review by private researchers but may be requested from the Agency's Information and Privacy Coordinator in writing. Declassification of World War II vintage material is currently in progress; however, the work is very slow. To obtain documents from CIA's archives, one must be able to provide substantial information on the exact topic. This is largely because OSS records are not computerized. Each document requested by a private individual must also be reviewed for national security information and privacy considerations. The author found CIA to be most cooperative in declassifying documents such as activity and mission reports. Unfortunately there is but a very small staff to handle literally thousands of enquiries. No historical work of any real merit can be complete without reference to the CIA archives. They form the basis for much of this paper.
- Federal Record Center Archives, Federal Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri. These contain thousands of linear feet of documents relating to members of the Armed Forces. Access to FRC Files is difficult and could only be accomplished with the assistance of the Marine Corps Historical Center. In order to remain within the spirit of the Privacy Act, only that information of a non-derogatory or innocuous nature was utilized in writing this paper. Most of the basic biographical data on OSS Marines came from this source. Of particular importance were copies of Marine Corps Special Orders and duplicates of individual award citations.
- National Archives of the United States, Record Group 226, Modern Military Records, Washington D.C. [now College Park, MD] The National Archives holds approximately 1,500 linear feet of records
from the Research and Analysis Branch of OSS. These are of some value to the detailed researcher of organizational history but are devoid of operational details. The magnitude and complexity of this collection requires considerable time and patience to fully exploit. Much of the material has already appeared in print elsewhere. Record Group 226 also includes a complete copy of the sanitized War Report of the OSS; however, as pointed out in the footnotes to this paper, the War Report is not comprehensive and provides few names. The staff of Modern Military Records is mot helpful but much overworked. Researchers intending to utilize the Archives must obtain a pass.
- Interviews and Personal Correspondence Received
Dr. William L. Cary (OSS operations in Rumania and Yugoslavia)
Lt. Col. William R. Corson, USMC (Ret) (Political infighting and background on the organizational structure of American intelligence 1935-45. Lt. Col. Corson graciously provided me with his copy of the unpublished documentary 'exhibits' from the OSS War Report.
Dr. Harold Deutsch (Operations of R&A Branch, OSS London)
Dr. Gerald Else (OSS operations in the Mideast and Greece)
Dr. John Gordon (Marine Corps special warfare initiatives.) Dr. Gordon, a member of the Command and Staff College adjunct faculty, encouraged me in my research and provided copies of several key documents on Evans Carlson, James Roosevelt, and the formation of the Raider Battalions.
Lt. Col. William F. Grell, USMC (Ret) (OSS operations in France and Germany)
James Ladd (Mr. Ladd is author of Commandos and Rangers of World War II. He provided a most interesting discussion of Marine Corps relations with the British Commando School in Scotland and offered to research British SOE records in London.)
Honorable Walter R. Mansfield (Operations in Yugoslavia with Mihailovic's Chetnik guerillas)
Mr. George W. Owen (Correspondence and assistance in locating and declassifying OSS mission reports in custody of CIA.)
Mr. Joseph E. Persico (OSS operations in Germany.) Mr. Persico is author of Piercing the Reich, the most comprehensive account of OSS missions inside Nazi Germany. He too encouraged me in this project and generously provided copies of some documentary material which had previously been released to him by CIA.
Captain François de la Roche, USMCR (Jedburgh Mission BUGATTI) Captain de la Roche provided valuable background material for the chapter on BUGATTI as well as a photograph taken in Tarbes, France, in September 1944 which shows Lieutenant Colonel Fuller, USMCR, the BUGATTI mission commander.
Primary Sources (Private Collections and Published Material)
- Goodfellow, Millard P., A collection of his personal papers. Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The Goodfellow collection is one of, it not the, best private source of OSS records. Goodfellow was Deputy Director of OSS during the war and kept extensive files. The collection contains most of his correspondence and memoranda as well as much collateral material. It is frequently cited in scholarly works on American intelligence. I was only able to mine this source by mail and thus fell far short of realizing its true potential. Any researcher who is within geographical range of Palo Alto should find the Goodfellow papers a treasure trove.
- Loewenheim, Francis L., Harold D. Langley, and Manfred Jonas, Roosevelt and Churchill: Their Secret Wartime Correspondence. (New York and London: Barrie, Jenkins, 1975.) This 800 page volume contains an annotated commentary and facsimile reproduction of hundreds of personal and 'eyes only' messages between the President and Prime Minister. There is excellent documentary material on the 'commando service' proposal and on OSS operations in the Balkans as well as much discussion concerning war aims, strategy and the like. A very valuable source, well indexed and quite handy for checking the real words rather than someone's interpretation.
- SOE in France, (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1966.) This is the official history of the Special Operations Executive's
clandestine warfare accomplishments in France. While Captain M.R.D. Foote (a former SAS officer) is listed as author, the work is really a succession of SOE operation orders and mission reports strung loosely together. Immensely detailed and indexed, it si one of the five or six best references yet published on special operations. I include it as a primary source because of the extensive footnoting and lack of journalistic license by Captain Foote.
- Kermit Roosevelt (Ed.) War Report of the OSS (New York: Walker, 1976.) 2 Volumes. The War Report must be the beginning of any research concerning the OSS. Despite the fact that it was censored by CIA prior to release, the report contains the single most comprehensive coverage of OSS in print. Unfortunately it is unindexed and confusingly arranged. Furthermore, the published version does not include the documentary exhibits referred to in the text. These may be obtained from the National Archives, but require a stiff fee [$.50/page] for reproduction. One of the requirements imposed by CIA prior to release was the deletion of all but a handful of personal names. Still, I referred to and quoted from the War Report throughout the research and composition of this paper.
- Secondary Sources (Books)
Alsop, Stewart and Thomas Braden, Sub Rosa. (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1964.) One of the first books to deal with OSS operations. There is a good account of Holcomb's role in the Port Lyautey pilot caper. No index, footnotes, or maps. Good background and easy reading.
Barrett, David, Dixie Mission. (Berkeley: Center for Chinese Studies, 1970.) Detailed discussion of the background and accomplishments of the OSS mission to the Chinese Communist forces in Yenan.
Bird, Michael J., The Secret Battalion. (New York: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston, 1964.) A short but detailed account of maquis activities in one part of the Haute Savoie region of France. Some of the narrative covers the time in which missions UNION I and UNION II were active there. Written from the French perspective.
Corson, William R., The Armies of Ignorance. (New York: Dial Press, 1977.) An extensive and scholarly study of the American intelligence community, chiefly in the period 1935-75. Excellent analysis of the in-fighting among the various intelligence agencies. outstanding documentation and explanatory notes. A required source. Good glossary, index, and bibliography.
Chandler, Alfred D., The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970.) A 5 volume collection of the most important letters, messages, memoranda, etc. of the late President. provides a very useful guide
location of actual documents in the National Archives. A particularly helpful section contains a daily recapitulation of Eisenhower's activities from 23 June 1942 through 5 May 1945. Several OSS Marines are mentioned, including Eddy, Holcomb, and Mansfield. Well indexed and easy to use.
Cline, Ray S., Secrets, Spies, and Scholars. (Washington: Acropolis, 1976.) One of the better general treatments of the U.S. intelligence establishment 1940-75. For background material, the first two chapters are a good, concise account of COI/OSS in the early days. While the skeleton of this work is quite strong, the meat is largely left to others. Disappointing footnotes.
Davies, John Paton, Dragon By the Tail. (New York: Norton, 1972.) A personal account of Davies' experiences in China and the Soviet Union Good background on China, with some collateral information on Evans Carlson. Extremely well written. Weak bibliography.
Erlich, Blake, Resistance: France 1940-45. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965.) A general history of the French resistance which avoids polemics. useful for sociological and political aspects of the guerilla army. Little on OSS. Index.
Ford, Corry, Donovan of OSS. (New York: Little, Brown, 1970.) A sympathetic biography of Donovan which focuses less on the OSS than on the life of the titular subject. Little treatment of organizational details and no mention of the "Commando Service" controversy. Still, a good departure point for research. Several OSS Marines are mentioned. Appendices and index are useful.
Heilbrunn, Otto, Partisan Warfare. (New York: Praeger, 1962.) A short philosophical treatise whose main value to OSS research lies in the few pages contrasting the organizations of Tito and Mihailovic.
Johnston, Major J.H., USMC, An Annotated Bibliography of the United States Marines in Guerilla, Anti-guerilla, and Small Wars Action. (Washington: Historical Branch (G-3), HQMC, 1962.) A short and very incomplete review of the literature (including some unpublished) relating to the title. Much outdated and of limited value to begin with. Nothing on OSS, but a few references to Marines in China.
Hayden, Stirling, Wanderer. (New York: Knopf, 1963.) An autobiography of the actor, author, sailor and OSS Marine officer. Chapters 61 through 67 give an excellent and historically accurate account of Hayden's experiences in Yugoslavia and France, as well as his training in the British commando school.
Kirkpatrick, Lymann, The Real CIA. (New York: Macmillan, 1968.) A source of some general value in tying OSS to its successor. Well indexed and better written than most 'pro-Agency' works.
Langer, William, Our Vichy Gamble. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1947.) One of the first books to deal with the American political and intelligence machinations in unoccupied France and North Africa during the days before TORCH. Langer was later a key member of Donovan's staff. Excellent background for the COI period, especially when taken in tandem with Murphy's Diplomat Among Warriors.
MacLean, Fitzroy, The Heretic. (New York: Harper, Row, 1957.) An informed and tolerable detailed view of wartime Yugoslavia and thereafter woven around the life of Tito. The author, a conservative Member of Parliament, was the senior Anglo-American liaison officer with the partisans 1942-45. See also MacLean's earlier work, Escape to Adventure.
MacMillan, Harold, The Blast of War. (London, Macmillan, 1947.) The recollections of Britain's postwar Prime Minister. Much insider information on the secret bureaucratic battles between SIS, SOE, and OSS.
Michel, H. and B. Mirkine-Guetzevith, Les Idees Politiques et Sociales de La Resistance. (Paris: Presses Universitaires, 1954.) Reproduction and commentary of selected speeches, clandestine broadsides and French language BBC broadcasts. Very useful appendix of acronyms and abbreviations. Extensive bibliography of French language writings on the maquis. Entirely in French, dictionary advised.
Moran, John B., Creating A Legend. (Chicago: Moran/Andrews, 1973.) An exhaustive, annotated bibliography of books, articles and films by and about Marines. Despite its scope, sources on Marines in OSS are few. Grell, Curtis, and Mansfield do appear.
Murphy, Robert, Diplomat Among Warriors. (New York: Doubleday, 1964.) The memoirs of an American diplomat who served with and for the OSS in Vichy and North Africa as well as the Balkans. Good material throughout, especially regarding Eddy.
OSS Assessment Staff, Assessment of Men. (New York: Rhinehart, 1947.) The definitive work on OSS selection and training. Very detailed coverage and many interesting sidelights on the organization and operational aspects of the organization slip through. Good index and photos. Recommend any OSS researcher take a hard look at this one.
Oblensky, Prince Serge, One Man In His Time. (New York: McDowell, 1958.) This is a hard book to find, but worth the looking. Oblenskyy spends about half of the book getting out of Russia and into his fortune, but once World War II commences, he chronicles the typically 'untypical' life of an OSS recruit and operative. Fascinating reading.
Persico, Joseph E., Piercing the Reich. (New York: Viking, 1979.) The best book yet written on OSS operations against the German homeland. Required and exciting reading. high style with superb scholarship.
Peers, William and Dean Brelis, Behind the Burma Road. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1963.) A popular history of OSS Detachment 101 in Burma. Well written narrative with an outstanding appendix listing every member of '101', including the Marines. Unfortunately, like most book on OSS, you must know the service affiliation to find men like Macomber, Fenn, Owen, and McDevitt.
Peniakoff, Vladimor, Popski's Private Army. (New York: Thomas Corwell, 1950.) Of some small value in scene-setting for North Africa and Italy. No index or bibliography.
Roberts, Walter, R., Tito, Mihailovic and the Allies, 1941/45. (New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 1978.) The best account yet written on wartime Yugoslavia. Good detail on Allied missions to both sides in the guerilla war against the Germans. Excellent index and some good photos. A work of high scholarship.
Saunders, Hilary St. George, The Green Beret. (London: Michael Joseph, 1949.) An excellent early account of the recruitment, organization, training, and employment of the British commando forces which Donovan so admired. First three or four chapters are particularly good.
Shaw, Henry and Benis M. Frank, Victory and Occupation. (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968.) Volume 5 of History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II. This work contains a good recapitulation of the POW experiences of Major Ortiz and Lieutenant Taylor.
Sulzberger, C.L.A., A Long Row of Candles. (New York: Macmillan, 1969.) An extraordinarily valuable background source on the Balkans. Elegantly written and containing the diary entries of Mr. Sulzberger's travels throughout the world, both before and during the war. One hundred pages of this is better general thematic material than 50 average books. Good sections on Greece and Yugoslavia.
Sweet-Escott, Bickham, Baker Street Irregular. (London: Methuen, 1965.) A personal remembrance of highjinks and spy escapades with SOE. Quite readable and full of insider information. Among the best general works on clandestine operations published.
Updegraph, Charles L., Jr., Special Marine Corps Units of World War II. (Washington: Historical Division, HQMC, 1972.) The best starting point for research into the Raider Battalions. Only a glimmer of the Donovan connection, but enough smoke to recognize that more information exists. Updegraph's work is the basis for James Ladd's chapter on the Raiders in Commandos and Rangers of World War II. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978.) Contains excellent documentary leads.
The following book is of special import:
Smith, R. Harris, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.) If I were asked to name the single starting point for OSS research, it would be Smith's. Working entirely from unclassified sources, he produced a tolerably accurate and extraordinarily broad account of the agency from its inception to its demise. The amount of research involved in this book is staggering. While there are a few factual errors, in the main the test is clear, elegantly written, and massively documented. The bibliography is among the most extensive yet compiled.
Secondary Sources (Newspaper and Magazines)
Chamberlain, John, "OSS," Life (19 November 1945), pp. 119-132. One of the first popular accounts of OSS activities. Pleasant reading, little substance. Eddy is mentioned several times.
Case, Lynn, "The Maquis Republic of the Vercors," Infantry Journal (April, 1947), pp. 29ff. A short but well written article dealing with the tragedy of Haute Savoie.
Donovan, William J., "Intelligence: Key to Defense," Life (September 30, 1946), pp. 108ff.. A brief summary of the OSS's role in World War II coupled with a strong plea for retention of a national central intelligence capability.
Funk, Arthur, "American Contacts with the Resistance in France," Military Affairs (February, 1970), pp. 9ff. An excellent scholarly article covering much ground but done with considerable skill.
Grell, Captain William F., USMCR, "A Marine With OSS," Marine Corps Gazette (December, 1945), pp. 14ff. Grell's personal account of the GERMINAL mission as well as some of the preparatory work.
Kelly, Richard M., "Mission to Greece," Bluebook (November, 1946), pp. 76ff. A very detailed and well written account of the OSS mission to blow the bridges between Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria in which Gunnery Sergeant Curtis was a key participant.
__________________, "One Against a Thousand," Bluebook (February, 1947), pp. 14ff. The adventures of 1st Lieutenant George Hearn, USMCR, in Italy, highlighting his part in the capture of Chioggia. Kelly was a Navy Lieutenant Commander who commanded the OSS Maritime Unit in the Adriatic. He published a series of articles in Bluebook between 1946-48 which contain perhaps the best and most detailed accounts of OSS operations available prior to publication of the War Report. These are all available on microfilm at the Library of Congress.
Krock, Arthur, "OSS Get's it Coming and Going," The New York Times (31 July 1945). An editorial decrying the rush to begin dismantling the OSS organization and shifting its assets to the Departments of State and War.
MacLean, Fitzroy, "The Setting for Guerilla Warfare," Journal of the Royal United Services Institution (August, 1963), pp. 206ff. Thoughts of the highest ranking Allied liaison officer to the Yugoslav partisans. Nothing specifically on OSS, but a good short course in British reasoning behind recognizing Tito at the expense of the Chetniks.
Mansfield, Captain Walter R., USMCR, "Marine With the Chetniks," Marine Corps Gazette (January-February, 1946). A personal account of Mansfield's mission to Mihailovic. Well written and a key source. Much quoted in secondary reference material on OSS.
__________________, "Ambush in China," Marine Corps Gazette (March, 1946), pp. 13ff. Narrative account of Mansfield's experiences with a Chinese guerilla raiding force behind Japanese lines. Some interesting biographical details in addition to the "shoot-em-up" portions.
Wager, Walter. "The Private War of Peter Ortiz," See (November, 1960), pp. 24ff. A somewhat fanciful account of Ortiz's missions UNION I and II to the Haute Savoie. High melodrama, low accuracy.
In addition to the foregoing cited work, I found the collected resources of the New York Times, Newsweek, Time and Life magazines during the period 1940-45 to be a most useful resource. The number of articles, many of which carried no "by-line", utilized in reading into the situation was very large. An additional excellent source was the OSS publication "The War This Week" which appeared regularly throughout the conflict and included many important newspaper clippings from the American press.
Table of Contents
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