OSS Personnel Search

Jedburghs in front of B-24 just before night takeoff. Area T, Harrington Airdrome, England, circa 1944.

Jedburghs in front of B-24 just before night takeoff. Area T, Harrington Airdrome, England, circa 1944.

Search engine to locate Office of Strategic Services personnel files held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland.

In total there are 23,978 personnel files available in Record Group 226, entry 224.

OSS staff can be searched by last name using the form below.

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Military Reaction Forces in Northern Ireland

This week the BBC's flag ship investigative journalism series Panorama broadcast allegations against plain clothes military units operating in Northern Ireland known as "Military Reaction Forces" (MRF). The programme asserts that the MRFs operated outside the British military's rules of engagement and were responsible for the death and wounding of a number of unarmed civilians in West Belfast in 1972. One document from British archives that appears to be referenced in the broadcast is the following Ministry of Defence review of the MRFs. Recognising the valuable contribution plain clothes units could make in countering the troubles in Northern Ireland, especially in regard to intelligence gathering, it is recognised that the units required more specialist training and tighter command and control. The proposed training would by necessity have to come from the Special Air Service. However, it was equally recognised that should the SAS's involvement become public, it would be a gift to propagandists and "might also give rise to genuine concern among the well-intentioned."


The Sovietisation of Afghanistan

From the archives: a briefing paper written by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Research and Analysis Department in February 1986. It gives a brief overview on how the Soviet Union has attempted to impose Soviet ideology onto Afghanistan, following its invasion of the country, through the attempted control and manipulation of religion, aid programs, the media, education, politics and economics.

British Politician’s Scathing Phrenological Assessments of President Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle

Lee Richards, 25 January 2012

One of the more bizarre releases of British Government papers to the National Archives this month includes a strange set of correspondence from 1961 between Robert Jenkins MP and the Prime Minister’s Office. Using phrenological ‘analysis’, Jenkins claims President Kennedy to be superficial beyond belief and a political adolescent and brands President de Gaulle as egotistical and almost a megalomaniac.


Government Censorship of BBC Panorama Documentary

In 1980 the British Broadcasting Corporation commissioned its flagship Panorama news and current affairs programme to produce a documentary on Britain's intelligence services. Although the documentary nominally purported to tackle the issue from the viewpoint of accountability of the intelligence services, the Government was concerned that the BBC was being embroiled in a campaign led by journalist Duncan Campbell and opposition MP Robin Cook to undermine Britain's intelligence services.

The following memorandum is a report on a meeting between civil servant Robert Armstrong and the then Director-General of the BBC Sir Ian Trethowan where the Government tries to prevent, or at least censor, the broadcast of the programme.