Office of Strategic Services
Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Office of Strategic Services(OSS), U.S. agency created (1942) during World War II under the jurisdiction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the purpose of obtaining information about enemy nations and of sabotaging their war potential and morale. Headed by William J. DonovanDonovan, William Joseph
, 1883–1959, U.S. lawyer and government official, b. Buffalo, N.Y., grad. Columbia law school. Distinguished service in World War I won him medals and the nickname Wild Bill Donovan.
..... Click the link for more information. , the OSS comprised personnel from all the branches of the armed forces as well as civilians. Although the "cloak and dagger" section gained the most publicity after the war, some of the most valuable work was done by the research and analysis section. Behind enemy lines, the OSS acted as a liaison with the underground in Nazi-occupied countries. The OSS was disbanded in 1945. Later many of its functions were assumed by the Central Intelligence AgencyCentral Intelligence Agency
(CIA), independent executive bureau of the U.S. government established by the National Security Act of 1947, replacing the wartime Office of Strategic Services (1942–45), the first U.S. espionage and covert operations agency.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See S. Alsop and T. Bradon, Sub Rosa: The O.S.S. and American Espionage (1946, repr. 1964); R. H. Smith, OSS (1972).