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"It was sort of a father-son relationship, which I will always treasure. (Audio Interview, Part 1, 3:17)

   Edwin J. Putzell, Jr.
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Service Location: United States; European Theater
Rank: Lieutenant
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Even before he graduated from law school, Edwin Putzell, on a bet with a friend, proved he could land a job with a prestigious Wall Street firm. And not just any law firm, but one headed by legendary World War I hero William (Wild Bill) Donovan. Putzell's job served him well during the Second World War, when President Roosevelt picked Donovan to head up a new intelligence agency which became the OSS, and Donovan picked Putzell to be his right-hand man. The two followed Allied advances through Sicily and Italy, then moved on to the China-Burma-India Theater, devising ingenious ways to confuse the enemy and to learn of his plans.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview  (79 min.)
»Transcript
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
During the Depression, obtaining a legal clerkship with the offices of World War I hero General William J. Donovan, future head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS); the men forged a bond that would last a lifetime. (01:59) Donovan well known to Putzell, and someone he greatly admired. (00:26) Donovan likened the state of US intelligence capabilities in 1939 to that of a "prizefighter going into the ring blindfolded." (00:39)
President Roosevelt, heeding the concerns of Donovan and the British, gave Donovan the job of Coordinator of Information (COI), forerunner to the OSS. (01:01) J. Edgar Hoover's aspirations to have all intelligence activities within his sphere; the COI a separate entity, dealing with foreign matters. (00:33) Donovan pulling strings to ensure that Putzell was inducted into the Navy. (02:12)
Traveling the world with Donovan, aiding operatives and training others in intelligence methods. (01:10) One of the techniques of psychological warfare. (00:53) Psychological warfare regarded as terribly important to the campaign. (00:29)
  
 
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  October 26, 2011
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