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Yes, bot hare real. The first is a lapel pin for wear on a civilian jacket. The second is a "key" which could be worn as a fob or on a necklace.  Les Hughes did a great article on these. I believe that he still has the info on his website. www.insigne.net

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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5 hours ago, vintageproductions said:

I was always under the impression that the pin back was for male OSS veterans and the key was for Female members.

That is what I was told as well.  At the end of the war General Donovan who was head of the OSS sent out certificates to everyone that served with the OSS to prove that they did in fact serve with the OSS during the war.  There was supposedly a coupon with the certificate where you could order the mentioned pin.  There was also a letter accompanying the certificate and coupon explaining this and I have attached a photograph of this letter with the pin.

 

  

OSS Pin & Letter (2).jpg

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The pins were available for $1 and the veteran could specify whether he wanted a pin or a "key". I don't think the keys were meant solely for female members, although that is the common collector lore. Key devices like this were also worn by men on pocket watch fobs during this era. I think it was just a preference, although I can see how the pin may have been more practical and popular. I have a large OSS OG group that I purchased from the family a number of years ago. Their Father purchased the key instead of the pin and it is in the group.

I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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I have met two former OSS men who had both the key and the lapel pin. One said the pieces were issued, and the other said they had to be purchased, but he didn't remember where he had bought them. The letter and the boxed pin that Tonomachi shared are just cool as all get out!

 

 I always assumed that the story about the key being for women was just collector lore.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Many fraternities have “keys”, e.g. Phi Beta Kappa....I cannot speak to sororities.

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Member, ASMIC.

Editor, ASMIC's The Trading Post

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  • 2 weeks later...

All great information, but the most important fact that would really be helpful to the forum is ,was the price too high? At shows they sold for much less,atleast 1/3 the price  realzed is the market. This maybe a case were one has not been on ebay lately and there was a feeding frenzy.

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I am not sure about prices but when I use to collect, if I saw an item that I wanted, I would buy it.  I may have paid more than what others may think was high but it was what I wanted.

Hope that made sense.

 

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Yes that makes sense especially when you know the market. Usually when you go shopping you have an idea as to what the item should reasonably cost. Again it is helpful to members to have info they can use to better their collecting experience; like is it real? and what is a fair price. The item that started this post sold for over $900 which would have been helpful to know from the beginning and even more useful that they paid almost 3x more then they should . I understand paying a premium for an item but over paying triple is a bit much.

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In pointing to my website, Allan H., as Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by that much." It is http://www.insigne.org

 

Go to Articles, then to Office of Strategic Services. I might add that I have upgraded much of the imagery on the site.

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2 hours ago, saarf said:

In pointing to my website, Allan H., as Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by that much." It is http://www.insigne.org

 

Go to Articles, then to Office of Strategic Services. I might add that I have upgraded much of the imagery on the site.

 

Mea culpa Jedi Master!

 

I hope you are doing well Les.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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