ALBANY, N.Y. — Legislation introduced in Congress seeks to award one of the nation’s highest civilian honors to members of the World War-era spy agency led by New York native Gen. William “Wild Bill” Donovan.
The measure introduced last week by Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Rep. Robert E. Latta of Ohio would award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency.
The medal would be awarded collectively to the OSS, whose surviving members are believed to number just a few hundred out of the original 13,000 during the war.
Commanded by Donovan, a World War I hero from Buffalo, OSS agents parachuted behind Nazi lines and led guerrilla raids against the Japanese. The OSS is considered the forerunners of today’s U.S. special operation forces.