3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2021 9:16 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Seeking father's OSS & military records

    Jim Lowell Newbie

      My Dad was an OSS Intelligence Officer, (9302) which morphed into counterintelligence after the war ended.  I have very little information regarding his assignments or duties for obvious reasons.  He did keep a diary and made limited notations and entries.  He joined the 15th Army Group HQ on December 27 sharing an apartment in Siena, Italy.  From his diaries, he was in Siena and on January 30 1945, a roommate, Bob Amerine moved in, then in early February moved to Florence.  He makes a note that on February 2, there was a party for Colonel Smith.  On February 12, General Marshall visited, there was a parade of sorts....  On March 3, 1945, he mentions interrogating a PW but no other information.   He had dinner on a few occasions at Grecco's which I could not locate... thinking it was a now defunct restaurant.

       

      Here is an excerpt from an extended interview conducted with my Dad in 1990:

      FJL Interview::: We were stationed in Florence then we moved the HQ at end of war to Salzburg then into Vienna as occupation forces in Austria - at the minute war ended, Intelligence ceased to exist, became Counterintelligence.  My responsibility along with another agent at OSS John Hine, the two of us were responsible for the denazification of Austria… HQ at US occupation forces of Austria… set out to give commands to the OSS troops around Austria that were established had to  designate based on Potsdam agreement, who should be arrested, this was done on an organizational chart, very complicated, if we had computers in those days it would be simple, I  devised card OSS units when arrested someone, would interrogate, found out who was predecessor was, particular job, who followed, who was the boss, and who was under him so to get complete Nazi organization from time of Anschluss in 1938 to present time.  In Vienna, same set up as Berlin, four power English, French American Russian… made life difficult… Russians were terrible  stole trains as they came into town…. Russians surrounded territory …  left came back Feb  46

       

      He received his promotion to 1st Lt at a ceremony from General Mark Clark on 1945-04-20. Where can I find additional information on locations and duties?  Thanks so much.

        • Re: Seeking father's OSS & military records
          Rachael Salyer Scout

          Dear Mr. Lowell,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Personnel Files of the Office of Strategic Services, 1942-ca. 1962 in the Records of the Office of Strategic Services (Record Group 226). We used the “Search within this Series” feature to search for anyone with the family name Lowell, but we were unable to locate any records for this name. We also searched the name index finding aid to the series, but again, we were unable to locate a file for anyone with the last name Lowell. We also searched the broader Personal Name Index to the OSS records, and we located two entries for the family name Lowell there, including “Lowell, Col” and “Lowell, Paul R.” These files are located in boxes 132 and 392 of the series Central Files, 1941-1946 in Record Group 226, respectively. The records have not been digitized. For access to and information about the files, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          Next, we located the series The Fifteenth Army Group History, 12/16/1944-5/2/1945 in the Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, United States Army (World War II) (Record Group 498) that may be of interest to you. Further, we located 5 file units of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force in the Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II (Record Group 331) that pertain to the 15th Army Group. The series World War II Operations Reports, 1940 - 1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407) may contain some information about the activities of the 15th Army Group. These records have not been digitized. Please contact RDT2 for more information about them. 

           

          In addition, we located the file 58 file units related to the 15th Army Group in the series Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, 1947 - 1964 in the Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (Record Group 111). Some of these records have been digitized and may be viewed online via the National Archives Catalog. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM) at mopix@nara.gov with any questions you might have about these records.

           

          Plus, the series Photographs of Fifth Army, II Corps Activities in Northern Italy, 1944-1945 also includes some photographs related to the 15th Army Group. These records have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) at stillpix@nara.gov for additional assistance with these records.

           

          Finally, if you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of your father’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1958 and for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2, RDSM, and RDSS. Also, the NPRC closed again as of November 7, 2020 until further notice. NPRC will respond only to requests involving burials, medical emergencies, and homeless veterans.  If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines or emergency requests may be faxed to (314) 801-0764.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

           

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking father's OSS & military records
              Jim Lowell Newbie

              Thanks so much for your assistance.  This journey has led me down so many paths; the latest is the Army CIC, which I believe is where he finally wound up.  After contacting the CIA Museum, (morphed from the OSS), they suggested that since I could not find Dad's name listed anywhere in any OSS Personnel Files that were released via the FOI Act in 2008, that possibly he could have been  " temporarily seconded to the OSS as many US personnel were, so his name wouldn't appear in OSS personnel records.  More likely he was in the Army Counterintelligence Corp."

               

              This would also make sense only it does not explain the entry in his Army Transcript that says under 24. he was  Counterintelligence Officer 9302 which, according to Mr. R.E. Cookson, Archivist Textual Records Service, Archives II College Park, MD, had no idea what Officer 9302 represents!  I made the assumption that he was an OSS Counterintelligence Officer, see below.

              Excerpt from Army Transcript

               

              He did interrogate a "PW" while stationed in Florence, Italy on March 3, 1945 with General Mark Clark's 15th AGHQ    From another diary entry on May 14, 1945, he notes  "reported to Col. Thill- G 31 (B)  (CIC)"  which I assume is a branch of the CIC.  He also attended a party for Brig. Gen Edward Hirsch on May 11, 1945 and met Col. Joseph B. Crawford on August 6, 1944.  He spent time during the denazification of Austria in Vienna and Salzburg.   I am trying to tie his locations (entries from his diaries) with meetings with high ranking Army officials to one organization, whether OSS or Army Counterintelligence.  Any thoughts?  I have other information that may help and I appreciate your assistance and knowledge.

                • Re: Seeking father's OSS & military records
                  Rachael Salyer Scout

                  Dear Mr. Lowell,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                   

                  The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the depository of the permanently valuable non-current records of the Federal Government. Only a small percentage of Federal records, including those created by the military, are considered permanent, and the records generally contain information related to the core missions of Federal agencies and organizations, not about individuals. It is also important to note that even records that would have been considered permanent could have been lost or destroyed during wartime. Plus, it is likely that you will be able to locate more relevant information when you are able to conduct in-person research and review potentially pertinent records directly.

                   

                  We searched the National Archives Catalog and located multiple series related to the Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) in various record groups, for example, that might be of interest to you. These records have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov for information about and access to these and similar records.

                   

                  Next, you may wish to review records related to the Army’s Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Prisoner of War Interrogation Section (MIS-Y) and to similar organizations if your father was responsible for interrogating enemy prisoners of war (PW/POWs). 

                   

                  In addition, we located 8 series related to denazification and Austria in the Records of U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (Record Group 260) that include intelligence reports and summaries that may be relevant to your research. These records have not been digitized. Please contact RDT2 with any questions you may have about them.

                   

                  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

                   

                  Finally, we located this document about Counterintelligence Corps personnel in the CIA’s Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room. Page 5 of the PDF lists the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code 9302 as a “counterintelligence officer” (vs. “counterintelligence agent”), so it seems that 9302 refers to a position type rather than to a specific individual. You may wish to explore other records related to the CIC in their Reading Room.

                   

                  We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!