Selected Bibliography

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.

  1. Primary Sources (Marine Corps)

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

  1. Primary Sources (Official Records other than Marine Corps)

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

  1. 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.)


  1. Primary Sources (Private Collections and Published Material)

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    1. 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.

  1. 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





  1. 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.




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