Wednesday, August 24, 2011
What Did My Father Do in the O.S.S.?
The Office of Strategic Services was an intelligence agency created during the Second World War, with a principle mission of coordinating espionage activities of the different American armed services. After the War it was transmogrified into the C.I.A.
My father, Sidney Kaufman, about whom I write extensively in The Memory Of All That, served in the O.S.S. during the war, making training and propoganda films. But the details of his activities are few and I don't really know what he did.
Though in recent times (in August, 2008), O.S.S. records became available through the National Archives, ten years ago, my request for my father's military records was met with a form letter stating that there was no record of Sidney Kaufman (with his birthdate and Social Security number) ever having served in any branch of the military. This is because O.S.S. files were in the C.I.A. archive and were entitely classified -- n personnel were identifiable, period. For many years, the only absolute proof I had for his service in the O.S.S. was this identification badge. I will never know the details of his wartime service.