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M1A1-1944

OSS KIA Purple Heart

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I recently acquired this purple heart/picture/wing group belonging to OSS Capt. Thomas C. Blackwell, C.E. (Counter Espionage), who was KIA in China. He is one of only 116 OSS KIA in WWII. I was able to better able understand exactly what I had with help of this forum. I said I would post more information when able, so here it is. OSS personnel files were declassified in 2008 so I was able to obtain Captain Blackwell's OSS file. His file is rather large at 192 pages, so I will only show a few of them.

Blackwell entered the service in Oct. 1942 with the 328th Engineers, went through jump training, and was selected by the OSS due to his language skills and favorable background. He served as an OSS operative in France. When the war in Europe was winding down, he transferred to PTO in China. It was there, on a mission, that he was KIA by Japanese forces. I have included a detailed account of how he was killed, as well as other scans of his file. At CIA headquarters in Langley, there is a memorial dedicated to the OSS, and a Book Of Honor. This book lists the 116 OSS agents KIA in WWII.

Blackwell's PH grouping was part of a larger family grouping I acquired. Most of the items in the grouping belonged to his brother Joseph Blackwell, decorated and documented member of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team. Thanks again to those who helped shine the light on this rare group.

Any questions or comments welcome.

 

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First and last page of an Activity Report he wrote for one of his missions in France

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Thanks for sharing this brave soldier’s service and death in the line of duty. Does his file show if he received the British award mentioned in post #8 above? There is no mention of him in the OSS Decorations Recipients by Wiegand though other KIA are noted and the awarding of the Purple Heart. Hope they did not forget about him because he died so close to the end of the war.

Best regards,

John


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Great heart. No doubts there....great shot of his name in the book. Thanks for sharing and remembering his service!

 

JD


AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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Very incredible yet sad grouping. Thanks for sharing


Collecting WWI 26th Division Machine Gun and Infantry related Helmets, Equipment, Groupings, Photos and Dog Tags!


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"CE" is for his basic Army Branch of Service-- Corps of Engineers, not "Counter Intelligence."

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The OSS abbreviation and acronym list has "CE" as Counter Espionage. Looking back through his records they use "CE" in his title pre-selection for the OSS, so obviously for Corps of Engineers. I didnt know it would carry through in his title once a member of OSS. Looking on I see he uses both "CE" and '"SO" (Special Operations) in his title. Thanks for pointing that out.


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Pretty impressive PH to a really brave soldier. Thanks for the posting


Looking for: Fourth/ Seventh Rhode Island Infantry items


Purple Heart : Robert L. Freitag KIA ETO 2/11/45


Any US/German items with the last name "Freitag"


also, war-related posters



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That is an amazing one-of-a-kind Purple Heart. You should contact Dave to put him in his book.

Dick


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Thanks Dick, I'll do that. Thanks to all who have commented. If any of you knew how under the radar this PH was obtained, you'd be amazed.


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