It was, of course, General Donovan who best summed up the OSS. After President Truman decided to dissolve the OSS in the fall of 1945, the General gathered his staff together one last time. In a classic understatement, Donovan proudly called the OSS “an unusual experiment.” It was, he said, an attempt “to determine whether a group of Americans constituting a cross-section of racial origins, of abilities, temperaments, and talents, could risk an encounter with long-established and well-trained enemy organizations.”
General Donovan proved that it could be done. We here also know that it could not have been done without him. The General’s “unusual experiment” was a stunning success.
Boldness and foresight. Teamwork and creativity. These were the qualities that defined General Donovan and the OSS.