Text: S.2234 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 114-269 (12/14/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 269]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 130 STAT. 1391]]

Public Law 114-269
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To award the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the members of 
the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in recognition of their superior 
 service and major contributions during World War II. <<NOTE: Dec. 14, 
                          2016 -  [S. 2234]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Office of 
Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `` <<NOTE: 31 USC 5111 note.>> Office 
of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was America's 
        first effort to implement a system of strategic intelligence 
        during World War II and provided the basis for the modern-day 
        American intelligence and special operations communities. The 
        U.S. Special Operations Command and the National Clandestine 
        Service chose the OSS spearhead as their insignias.
            (2) OSS founder General William J. Donovan is the only 
        person in American history to receive our Nation's four highest 
        decorations, including the Medal of Honor. Upon learning of his 
        death in 1959, President Eisenhower called General Donovan the 
        ``last hero''. In addition to founding and leading the OSS, 
        General Donovan was also selected by President Roosevelt, who 
        called him his ``secret legs'', as an emissary to Great Britain 
        and continental Europe before the United States entered World 
        War II.
            (3) All the military branches during World War II 
        contributed personnel to the OSS. The present-day Special 
        Operations Forces trace their lineage to the OSS. Its Maritime 
        Unit was a precursor to the U.S. Navy SEALs. The OSS Operational 
        Groups and Jedburghs were forerunners to U.S. Army Special 
        Forces. The 801st/492nd Bombardment Group (``Carpetbaggers'') 
        were progenitors to the Air Force Special Operations Command. 
        The Marines who served in the OSS, including the actor Sterling 
        Hayden (a Silver Star recipient), Col. William Eddy (a 
        Distinguished Service Cross recipient who was described as the 
        ``nearest thing the United States has had to a Lawrence of 
        Arabia''), and Col. Peter Ortiz (a two-time Navy Cross 
        recipient), were predecessors to the Marine Special Operations 
        Command. U.S. Coast Guard personnel were recruited for the 
        Maritime Unit and its Operational Swimmer Group.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1392]]

            (4) The OSS organized, trained, supplied, and fought with 
        resistance organizations throughout Europe and Asia that played 
        an important role in America's victory during World War II. 
        General Eisenhower credited the OSS's covert contribution in 
        France to the equivalent to having an extra military division. 
        General Eisenhower told General Donovan that if it did nothing 
        else, the photographic reconnaissance conducted by the OSS prior 
        to the D-Day Invasion justified its creation.
            (5) Four future directors of central intelligence served as 
        OSS officers: William Casey, William Colby, Allen Dulles, and 
        Richard Helms.
            (6) Women comprised more than one-third of OSS personnel and 
        played a critical role in the organization. They included 
        Virginia Hall, the only civilian female to receive a 
        Distinguished Service Cross in World War II, and Julia Child.
            (7) OSS recruited Fritz Kolbe, a German diplomat who became 
        America's most important spy against the Nazis in World War II.
            (8) America's leading scientists and scholars served in the 
        OSS Research and Analysis Branch, including Ralph Bunche, the 
        first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize; 
        Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; 
        Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg; Sherman Kent; John King 
        Fairbank; and Walt Rostow. Its ranks included seven future 
        presidents of the American Historical Association, five of the 
        American Economic Association, and two Nobel laureates.
            (9) The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence 
        and Research traces its creation to the OSS Research and 
        Analysis Branch.
            (10) James Donovan, who was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 
        Steven Spielberg movie ``Bridge of Spies'' and negotiated the 
        release of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, served as General 
        Counsel of the OSS.
            (11) The OSS invented and employed new technology through 
        its Research and Development Branch, inventing new weapons and 
        revolutionary communications equipment. Dr. Christian Lambertsen 
        invented the first underwater rebreathing apparatus that was 
        first utilized by the OSS and is known today as SCUBA.
            (12) OSS Detachment 101 operated in Burma and pioneered the 
        art of unconventional warfare. It was the first United States 
        unit to deploy a large guerrilla army deep in enemy territory. 
        It has been credited with the highest kill/loss ratio for any 
        infantry-type unit in American military history and was awarded 
        a Presidential Unit Citation.
            (13) Its X-2 branch pioneered counterintelligence with the 
        British and established the modern counterintelligence 
        community. The network of contacts built by the OSS with foreign 
        intelligence services led to enduring Cold War alliances.
            (14) Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North 
        Africa in November 1942, was aided by the networks established 
        and information acquired by the OSS to guide Allied landings.
            (15) OSS Operation Halyard rescued more than 500 downed 
        airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia, one of the most 
        daring and successful rescue operations of World War II.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1393]]

            (16) OSS ``Mercy Missions'' at the end of World War II saved 
        the lives of thousands of Allied prisoners of war whom it was 
        feared would be murdered by the Japanese.
            (17) The handful of surviving men and women of the OSS whom 
        General Donovan said performed ``some of the bravest acts of the 
        war'' are members of the ``Greatest Generation''. They have 
        never been collectively recognized for their heroic and 
        pioneering service in World War II.
SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL.

    (a) Presentation Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make 
appropriate arrangements for the presentation, on behalf of the 
Congress, of a gold medal of appropriate design in commemoration to the 
members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), in recognition of 
their superior service and major contributions during World War II.
    (b) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Design and Striking.--For purposes of 
the presentation referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the 
Treasury (referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') shall strike a 
gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be 
determined by the Secretary.

    (c) Smithsonian Institution.--
            (1) In general.--Following the award of the gold medal in 
        commemoration to the members of the Office of Strategic Services 
        under subsection (a), the gold medal shall be given to the 
        Smithsonian Institution, where it will be displayed as 
        appropriate and made available for research.
            (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
        Smithsonian Institution should make the gold medal received 
        under paragraph (1) available for display elsewhere, 
        particularly at other appropriate locations associated with the 
        Office of Strategic Services.
SEC. 4. DUPLICATE MEDALS.

    The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold 
medal struck pursuant to section 3 under such regulations as the 
Secretary may prescribe, at a price sufficient to cover the cost 
thereof, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and 
overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold medal.
SEC. 5. STATUS OF MEDALS.

    (a) National Medals.--The medals struck pursuant to this Act are 
national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States 
Code.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1394]]

    (b) Numismatic Items.--For purposes of section 5134 of title 31, 
United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be considered 
to be numismatic items.

    Approved December 14, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2234:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            Feb. 22, considered and passed Senate.
            Nov. 30, considered and passed House.

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