The Patriot Files Forums  

Go Back   The Patriot Files Forums > Conflict posts > World War II

Post New Thread  Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-26-2018, 06:06 AM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is offline
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,358
Thumbs up World War II Army Intelligence Officer Receives Congressional Gold Medal

World War II Army Intelligence Officer Receives Congressional Gold Medal
By JULIE HUSS, THE EAGLE-TRIBUNE (NORTH ANDOVER, MASS.) on June 26, 2018
RE: https://taskandpurpose.com/army-oss-...al-gold-medal/

Photo: https://taskandpurpose.com/wp-conten...52-840x420.jpg
Retired Army Capt. Martin Gelb, 98, holds his Congressional Gold Medal given to him Monday, June 25, 2018, in Derry, New Hampshire. Gelb was honored for his World War II service with the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency.

His work in the military remained hidden for years due to its secretive nature, but now one veteran is receiving recognition for his service in the U.S. Army as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.

In a ceremony held Monday at the Derry Municipal Center, Capt. Martin Gelb was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, democrat from New Hampshire.

“Martin Gelb is an American hero and I’m honored to have the opportunity to stand with our community and his family to present him with this long overdue recognition for his service to our country,” Shaheen said.

Gelb was part of a critical intelligence unit that shaped the course of World War II, Shaheen noted, saying that the veteran’s service and sacrifice was kept secret for decades, adding it was only recently the level of Gelb’s OSS service was known.

The OSS formed the framework of what became the nation’s intelligence services, including the CIA.

“I am so thrilled that he is finally receiving the acknowledgement and commendation for his extraordinary service and I join with our community in thanking him for his bravery and service to the United States, and to the world,” Shaheen said. “Martin Gelb is a true American hero.”

Gelb, 99, was born in Brooklyn, New York and joined the Army at 22 as a tool inspector.

He then served in England, France, and behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany, serving as a field radio officer, communications officer and military intelligence officer and completed a myriad of missions including providing support to U.S. and British operations while also assisting with the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp, the largest of the Nazi camps that imprisoned about 250,000 people between 1937 and 1945.

OSS records were not declassified until 2008 and Gelb only recently began sharing his military stories about his missions with family and others.

Author and family friend Bill Graser said he first met Gelb at a Veterans Day event in Londonderry in 2011 and eventually interviewed him for a book that chronicles the lives and experiences of those who served.

Graser said it continues to be a pleasure knowing Gelb.

“It’s such a privilege to be in this room with this man,” Graser said.

CIA historian Brent Geary said the OSS began when President Franklin Roosevelt organized the military organization to support America after it entered World War II, with thousands of the specialized soldiers being integrated into combat theaters abroad.

After Roosevelt’s death, President Harry Truman decided to focus on a more civilian department based on the OSS legacy.

“And the CIA thanks you (Mr. Gelb) for all you and your fellow OSS officers did to blaze that trail,” Geary said.

Gelb said he was “speechless, ovewhelmed” and receiving the honor was unbelievable.

The humble soldier took a moment after the ceremony to answer questions from those attending, saying he wasn’t sure why this was such a big deal, but to those in the room, it was.

Some just wanted a story.

“I could tell you the story, talk about bias, I believe I was the only guy who has ever been fired from a job for being left-handed,” Gelb said.

He also said serving in the Army forged many great friendships.

Gelb also told a young Boy Scout in the audience that he, too, was a Scout.

“The strongest lesson I learned was how to be a good guy,” Gelb said.

For Gelb, being honored and receiving the medal has brought back memories of his service — and he will never forgot those years.

“I think of them all the time,” Gelb said. “This occasion has opened up a lot of memories stored in my mind which I chose to forget about. It brings up good and bad memories.

The Derry, New Hampshire, veteran loves America and said he did the job he was asked to do.

“I love the country we have and I don’t care what anybody says, this is one great country,” Gelb said. “We were called up, guys like me, to perform a task and we did the best we could.”

———

©2018 The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.