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Welcome - Worldwide directory of special forces and government agencies
Your Online Source for info on Special Warfare and counter-terrorism Units!


Operation Azalee


Doolittle Raid

Operation Eagle Claw

Operation Jonathan

Operation Crimson Tide

OSS Bibliography

Patilla Field, Panama

Psychological Operations Tactics and Abilities

CQB Standard Breacher Operational Loadout

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Vnukovo Airlines Hijacking

OSS Bibliography



Prepared by:
David J. Albanese
Captain, US Army

US Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command Fort Bragg, NC


In order for us to understand and appreciate the valuable work of the American intelligence community, it is important to consider the early history of modern American intelligence.

This study must begin by looking at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of both the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and its formation and operations during World War II. In order to view this organization as something more than the usual bureaucratic line and staff diagram, one must look at it through the life of its founder, Major General William J. Donovan. By viewing the OSS through the personal involvement of such a prominent figure, on can begin to sense the OSS as an organization of real men and women, thereby bringing history to life.


The Last Hero, Anthony Cave Brown, Times Books, New York NY, 1982 (UB271.U52D663 1982)

Donovan, America's Master Spy, Richard Dunlop, Chicago, IL Rand McNally, 1982 (E748.D665D86 1982)

Donovan and the CIA, Thomas F. Troy, Frederick, MD, Alethia Books, 1981 (JK468.I6T74 1981)


The following book reviews are found in Book Review Digest (Z1219.C96)

The Last Hero
  • America 148:286 April 9, 1983 William J. Bosch 800 words
  • Christian Science Monitor p 15 Jan 19, 1983 Burke Wilkinson 750 words
  • Donovan, America's Master Spy
  • Library Journal 107:2252 Dec 1, 19982 George H. Siehl 100 words
  • National Review 34:1566 Dec 10, 1982 Curtis Carroll Davis 160 words
  • Donovan and the CIA
  • Economist 282:90 Mar 13, 1982 170 words
  • Journal of American History 69:499 S'82 500 words


    Irwin, W. and Johnson, J.M. "Allseeing I" in Detzer, K.W., editor, Army Reader pp 65-71 Essay & General Literature Index Vol 3, 1941-47, p 1079 (PN41.S31)

    Robinson, D.B., "Men Who Spy for America" in American Legion Magazine, American Legion Reader pp 396-402r

    Essay & General Literature Index Vol 4, 1948-54, p 1303 (PN41.S31)


    World War, 1939-1945- Secret service
    Donovan, William J. (William Joseph) 1883-1959
    United Stets Office of Strategic Services
    United States Central Intelligence Agency
    Espionage, American
    Intelligence Officer -- United States -- Biography
    Intelligence Service -- United States
    Military Intelligence -- United States -- Addresses, Essays, Lectures
    United States Foreign Relations
    Spies -- United States -- Biography


    1. Cline, Marjorie, et al., ed. Scholar's Guide to Intelligence Literature, University Publications of America, Frederick, MD 1983 (Z6724.I7S6)
    a) Ford, Corey & MacBain, Alastair, Cloak and Dagger: The Secret Story of the OSS, Random House, New York, NY 1946 (D810.S7F6)
    b) Persico, Joseph E., Piercing the Reich: The Penetration of Nazi Germany by American Secret Agents During W.W.II, Viking Press, New York, NY, 1979 (D810.S7P44)

    2. Blackstock, Paul & Schaf, Frank, Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Gale Research Co., Detroit. MI, 1978 (Z6724.I7B55)
    a) Smith, Richard Harris, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency, University of California Press, Berkley, CA 1972 (D810.S7S555)
    b) Phillips, William, Ventures in Diplomacy, Beacon Press, Boston, MA 1952 (E744.P44)

    3. Smith, Myron J., The Secret Wars: A Guide to Sources in English, ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 1980 (Z6724.I7S63*v.3)
    a) Cohen, Eliot A., Commandos and Politicians: Elite Military Unites in Modern Democracies, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1978 (U21.5.C63)
    b) Phillips, David A., The Night Watch: 25 Years of Peculiar Service, Atheneum, New York, NY 1977 (JK468.I6P54)


    Who Was Who in America Vol III, p 233 (CT01.4 W469)
    Who's Who in New York 1917-18 (7th Edition), p 304
    It Happened Here Erie Savings Bank, Buffalo, NY pp 59-62
    Biography Index Sep 84 - Aug 86, p 185 (CT100.B46 1984-86)
    Current Biography 1941, 1954, 1959 (CT31.B56)
    Biography Almanac Vol I, p 502 (CT31.B56)
    Modern American Secret Agents pp 26-41 (UB251.U5A73)
    Dictionary of Espionage p 39 (UB270.D62)
    The Congressional Medal of Honor: The Names, The Deeds (UB433.C65)
    Who's Who in the CIA Julius Mader, Berlin, Germany, 1968, p 144 (JK468.I6 M32)
    Donovan of OSS Corey Ford, Little, Brown, & Co., Boston, MA 1970 (D810.S8 D55)


    America History and Life (Z1236.A48)

  • Dimitrov, Ilco "COL Donovan: Mission in Sofia", Bulgarian History Review (Bulgarian) 1978 6(4) 3 & 4
  • Mulligan, Timothy P. "According to COL Donovan" A Document from the records of German Military Intelligence", Historian 1983 46(1):78-86
  • Social Science Index (AI3.R472)

  • "America's Secret Operations: A Perspective", H. Rositzke, Foreign Affairs, 53:334-51 Ja 75
  • Humanities Index (AI3.R73)

  • "Eisenhower and the Intelligence Community in World War II", S.E. Ambrose, Journal of Contemporary History, 16:153-66 Ja 81
  • Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature (AI3.R4)

  • "Secret Agents", P. Carlson, People Weekly, 17:30-3, Je 7 '82

    1) Comprehensive Dissertation Review Index (Z5055.U5C58)
    a) "A History of the War Department Scientific Intelligence Mission (ALSOS), 1943-45", Mahoney, Leo James Phd. 1981, Kent State University, 445 pages, 42/11A, p 4907 DD582-02163
    b) "Malta and the Mediterranean: A Study in Allied and Axis Strategy, Planning, Intelligence during the Second World War", Lutton, Wayne Charles, Phd. 1983, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 258 pages, 44/05A, p 1546 DC083-21448
    2) Index to American Doctoral Dissertations (Z5055.U5A52)
    a) Kellis, James G., "The Development of US National Intelligence, 1941-1961", Georgetown University, 1963


    1. The WJD Miscellaneous Collection (Part I), a steel, fireproof, five-drawer file cabinet containing memorabilia, bound volumes of documentation concerning MG Donovan's early years, newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, and other items. Location: US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
    2. The WJD Miscellaneous Collection (Part II), a steel, fireproof, five-drawer file cabinet contains items of less interest than Part I, but nevertheless of importance and interest to those concerned with MG Donovan's life and the sociology of US Intelligence. Location: Donovan, Leisure, Newton, & Levine, New York, NY (on loan to Geoffery M.T. Jones, President of the Veterans of Strategic Services).
    3. The Donovan Family Collection, containing (wife) Ruth Donovan's diaries, letters to Ruth and the Donovan family, albums, memorabilia, and photographs. Location: In the possession of (son) David Donovan. In all probability this will not be released to the general public since the contents deal with personal family matters.
    4. Ralstone R. Irvine, of Donovan, Leisure, Newton, & Levine, New York, NY, is in possession of a small number of papers MG Donovan wrote concerning the early history of the law firm.
    5. Directory of Special Libraries and Information Centers Gale Research, Detroit, Michigan, 1987 (Z731.K7 10th) MG Donovan's manuscripts and research notes on espionage history and the American Revolution and espionage are located in the Columbia University Library.


    Buffalo Evening News/Buffalo News
    Library of Congress
    Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, IL
    Micro Photo Division; Bell & Howell, Wrooster, OH
    Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (Grosvenor Reference Division) Buffalo, NY
    Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Buffalo, NY

    Buffalo Courier/Buffalo Express
    Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (Grosvenor Reference Division) Buffalo, NY
    Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Buffalo, NY
    Biels Microfilm Co., West Seneca, NY
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
    State University College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

    The New York Times
    blank State University of New York at Buffalo, Lockwood Library, Buffalo, NY

    The Washington Post
    Library of Congress
    Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL
    University of Chicago
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
    Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

    Located in Newspapers in Microfilm, US 1948-72, Washington, D.C., Library of Congress {GPO}, 1973 (Z6945.N75538)

    Personal papers of individuals directly connected to MG William J. Donovan include:

    A Guide to Manuscripts in the Presidential Libraries(CD 3029.82 B87)
    1. Herbert C. Hoover, US President
    Delph E. Carpetner, Lawyer
    Ferdinand L. Mayer, foreign service officer, OSS officer
    Location: Herbert Hoover Library, West Branch, IO
    2. Franklin D. Roosevelt, US President
    Henry Agard Wallace, US vice-president, Agriculture Secretary
    Location: Franklin Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, NY
    3. Dwight D. Eisenhower, General, US President Location: Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, KS
    4. Harry S Truman, US President
    Location: Harry S Truman Library, Independence, MO

    Published papers include:

    • The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Hoover, Herbert, Macmillan Co., New York, NY 1952
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs, Nixon, Edgar B., ed., The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1969 (E806.R77)
    • Price of Vision: The Diary of Henry A. Wallace 1942-46, Blum, John M., ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA 1973 (E748.W23 A36)
    • Memoirs, Truman, Harry S, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NJ 1956 (E814.T75)
    • The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower: The War Years, Chandlet, Alfred, ed., Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD 1970 (D735.E37)
    Found in American Autobiographies 1945-80 (Z5305.U5 A47)


    1) Blackstock, Paul and Scaf, Frank, Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Gale Research Co., Detroit, MI, 1978 (Z6724.I7B55)
    a) Alsop, Stewart and Braden, Thomas (former OSS Officers), SUB ROSA: The OSS and American Espionage, Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, NY 1946 (D810.S7A55)
    b) Donovan, William J., "Intelligence: Key to Defense", Life, 30 September 1946, pp 108-20
    2) Cline, Marjorie, et al., ed., Scholar's Guide to Intelligence Literature, University Publications of America, Frederick, MD 1983 (Z6724I7S6)
    a) Casey, William J., "The Clandestine War in Europe (1942-45)": [remarks on the receipt of the William J. Donovan Award at dinner of Veterans of the Office of Strategic Services] December 5, 1974, 19 p.
    b) Hymoff, Edward, The OSS in World War II, Ballentine Books, New York, NY 1972, 405 p.
    3) Pernell, Mark S., "Pernell's Top Forty: Forty Books for the Military Intelligence Professional", pp 2-6, Military Intelligence Magazine, JAN-MAR 78, US Army Intelligence Center & School, Fort Huachuca, AZ
    a) Stevenson, William, A Man Called Intrepid: The Secret War, Harcourt Brace Jovonovich, New York, NY 1976 (D810.S8 S85)
    b) Winterbothom, Frederick W., The Ultra Secret, Futra Publications, London, England 1975 (D810.C88 W56)
    4. Greenwood, John, American Defense Policy Since 1945: A Preliminary Bibliography, University of Kansas Press 1973 (Z1361.D4G73)
    a) Donovan, William J., "Strategic Services in Cold War", Naval War College Review, SEP 53, pp 31-42
    b) Hilsman, Roger, Strategic Intelligence and National Decision, Free Press, Glencoe, IL 1956 (J1525.I6H53)
    5) Roberts, Henry, et al., ed., Foreign Affairs Bibliography (1942-52), Harper & Brothers, New York, NY 1955 (Z6461.F6)
    a) Padover, Saul Kussiel, Experiment in Germany: The Story of an American Intelligence Officer, Duell Publishers, New York, NY 1946 (D810.P7U45)
    b) Carrol, Wallace, Persuade or Perish, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA 1948 (D810.P6C3)


    1) US War Department Strategic Services Unit, History Project, War Report of the OSS. Prepared by History Project, Strategic Services Unit, Office of the Assistant Secretary of War, War Department, Walker, New York, NY 1976 (D810.S7U56 1976)
    2) Murray, Henry A., et al., Office of Strategic Services, Assessment of Men: Selection of Personnel for the Office of Strategic Services, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1948 (BF431.U6)
    Located in Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources (Z6724.I7B55)
    3) The Files of the Office of the Director of the Civilian Office of Information and the Office of Strategic Services. Included in this collection are OSS Director's Cables. Located at the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA. The date of public release of these documents is uncertain.
    4) The Central Intelligence Agency Collection. This consists of 148 boxes of bound records given to the CIA by Donovan's law firm for safekeeping. In the boxes are 1,300 volumes of bound records. This collection was expected to be open for public use in 1983.
    Located in The Last Hero (UB271.U52D663)
    5) Budgets for military & departmental activities of War Department and for OSS, 1944 H.doc 205 (78-1) 10788
    6) Estimates to finance OSS functions transferred to Interim Research and Intelligence Service H.doc 372 (79-1) 10970
    Located on page 1292 of Congressional Information Service US Serial Set Index Part X, 74-79th Congress 1935-46 (Z1233.Z9C65 1975 pt 10)
    7) World Federation of Trade Unions and the UN Conference on International Organization Report, Memorandum from William J. Donovan, Director OSS to the President, May 13, 1945, 11 pages, CONFIDENTIAL, Declassified May 21, 1973
    Located on page 316, The Declassified Documents: Retrospective Collection Declassified Documents Reference System, Carrolton Press, Washington, DC, 1976- (Z1223.Z9D42)



    The Fighting Sixty-Ninth , Warner Brothers, 1940 "a human, amusing, and frequently gripping record of a regiment's marching off to war", George Brent as Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan. [1940, Ja 27, 9:2] p 4110

    Cloak and Dagger , Warner Brothers, 1946, an original story inspired by the book Cloak and Dagger: The Secret Story of The OSS, by Corey Ford & Alastair MacBain.

    Located in The New York Times Film Reviews (1913-1968), New York Times, New York (PN1995 N4)


    Plaques honoring MG William J. Donovan can be found in the MG William J. Donovan New York State Office Building, Buffalo, NY and in Donovan Hall, Camp Smith, Peekskill, NY

    Oral History:

    Impressions of Donovan are given by James Fife, US Navy. Located on page 99, The Oral History Collection, Mason, Elizabeth and Stan, Louis, ed., Columbia University Press, NY, 1974 (Z1361 C641979)

    Art: A portrait of MG William J. Donovan hangs in the MG William J. Donovan New York State Office Building, Buffalo, NY and the main hall of CIA Headquarters in Virginia.


    " Blood on the Risers " "not one of the best OSS songs", The Last Hero, p 475

    " Wild Bill " Donovan Victory Song, words & music by Tom Donahue, New York Herald Tribune, Oct 19, 1932, The Last Hero, p 842


    MG William J. Donovan gravesite is located in Arlington National Cemetery: Section 2, Grave 48-74, Grid W-33, Arlington, VA