The secretary of the Interior was one of more than 100 members of the intelligence and special operations community and the OSS Society, who gathered Wednesday at Washington’s Omni Shoreham hotel in the ballroom that 75 years ago was the swimming pool, where officers of the Office of Strategic Services tested and developed the breathing apparatus necessary for America to field its own team of underwater warriors in the Second World War.
“It is great to see friendly faces and for those frogs that I put through training, if I harassed you–I am not going to apologize,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Ryan Zinke, the first Navy SEAL elected to Congress and the first Navy SEAL to become a cabinet secretary. In addition to his tours in Iraq and missions outside the scope of conventional warfare, Zinke once commanded SEAL Team 6 and also was in-charge of SEAL training after a frogman completes Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.
Zinke said he was proud of the SEALs being a legacy of the OSS.
“The OSS? For those who look at, we even got our fins from the OSS,” Zinke said. “It is my understanding that the first time the Navy first used fins was at the Battle of Okinawa–borrowed from the OSS.”
The OSS was created by an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the start of the Second World War and its founding director was Brig. Gen. William “Wild Bill” Donovan, a Medal of Honor recipient from the First World War and a successful Wall Street attorney. Under Donovan’s leadership, OSS officers performed vital tasks, often behind enemy lines, that provided the U.S. military with critical intelligence and undermined the ability of the Axis powers to continue fighting the war.
“Seventy-five years ago, in this room, it all started,” said O’Donnell, who is a member of the OSS Society board.
“In 1941, six Italian frogmen destroyed two British battleships in the eastern Mediterranean, and that changed the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and set off an underwater arms race–the United States was the furtherest behind any of the countries, there was no SCUBA, there was no rebreather, and the War Department turned to Wild Bill Donovan and the OSS to come up with a solution,” he said.
The OSS gathered together an eclectic group of men and women to meet this challenge, including Hollywood, California dentist Jack Taylor, who over the course of his missions developed into the prototype SEAL, the first warrior to combine the elements of underwater combat, airborne insertion and land fighting, he said.
Taylor tested the breathing gear at the pool at the Omni Shoreham, jumped deep behind enemy lines in Austria leading a team of OSS fighters, he said. A testament to his inner strength, after his capture, Taylor survived a German concentration camp.
The lessons learned and the technology and tactics developed were not lost when the OSS was disbanded after the war, rather they were passed onto the Navy and became part of the ethos of the Navy SEALs, he said.
Navy SEAL veteran Rep. Scott Taylor (R.-Va.) told Big League Politics he was thrilled to participate in the gala.
“It is an honor be here with an organization that was the predecessor to an organization to the U.S. Navy SEALs,” the congressman said. “There is no question that the warriors, who are out there today, have stood on the shoulders of these folks–I am just honored.”
Dr. Christian Lambertsen had developed an underwater breathing device, while he was a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania. The Lambertsen Amphibious Respiratory Unit was an apparatus that allowed the warrior swimmer to breathe underwater without giving off bubbles that would give him away to enemy defenders. The doctor worked full-time with the OSS Maritime Unit, to train swimmers and further perfect the LARU at the pool of the Omni Shoreham and in secluded areas of the Potomac River. It was Lambertsen who coined the term SCUBA, for self-contained-underwater-breathing apparatus.
SEAL veteran retired Vice Admiral Joseph D. Kernan told the audience that the OSS was the anchor for the Naval Special Warfare community.
“Fundamentally, what I would say today about navy special warfare–despite what we have been doing over the last 13, 14, 15 years–combat swimming is the core of us,” said the admiral, who in addition to led the Navy Special Warfare Command and serving as an aide to Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, has been nominated by President Donald J. Trump to serve as the assistant secretary of defense for intelligence.
“It is the core of all of us,” he said. “It is the reason most of us came into the community–because we like the water and being amphibious.”
The admiral said,” My sense is that those skill sets involved with combat swimming translate into success on the battlefield–no matter what you do.”
Functioning underwater is so tough and dangerous, breathing gear or even the underwater canoes, improves the warrior.
“The things that you learn and the things that you do underwater, are incredibly difficult and incredibly challenging,” he said. “If you have that fortitude and that attention to detail and you can live and breathe in an unforgiving environment like the water, you can thrive in any environment.”
Lambertson’s original model was designed for 50 feet for 90 minutes, he said
“Well, 50 feet for 90 minutes? That’s a warm-up these days,” he said.
“The key to the design was bubbles,” he said. “They demonstrated that down in Cuba, in what I would call a full-mission profile, when they actually penetrated the harbor, and no one could detect them at all, so that is when the light came on: Gee, if we can approach from–probably I would consider it our nation’s most clandestine environment is still the sea–if we can approach from the water without bubbles, you could do a lot of things.”
Unlike the original OSS maritime officers, Kernan said today’s SEALs do not train in the Bahamas or Cuba or California’s Catalina Island.
“If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it,” the admiral said.
Charles Pinck, the president of the OSS Society said the OSS Veterans Association was started by Donovan in 1947 and that it was transitioned into the current organization in order to keep the legacy going with the membership opened up to members of the intelligence and special operations communities.
Pinck said the OSS Society is proud to carry on the legacy of the OSS, which also lives on through the various agencies and units that carry on special and clandestine operations for the United States.
The society, which will soon accept a Congressional Gold Medal, advocates for the national recognition for the role of strategic intelligence and is working to preserve both this legacy for future generations at the National Museum of Intelligence and Special Operations. The museum has secured land by Dulles International Airport and already is working with its academic partner at Georgetown University. The museum was designed by Curt Fentress, a design that includes the OSS spearhead symbol that is still part of the Special Forces patch and used by other similiar units, and includes a replica of the bar of the Paris Ritz hotel, liberated from the Germans by novelist Ernest Hemingway leading French Resistance fighters and members of the OSS.
After the speaker program, guests at the event enjoyed cocktails, Champagne and dancing to 1940s standards performed by the Silver Tones swing band.
The Omni Shoreham, opened in 1930, is the iconic Grand Dame of northwest Washington. The hotel has played host to The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and inaugural balls for every president from FDR through William J. Clinton. For a number of years, it was also the site of the Conservative Political Action Convention.
One year ago, the OSS Society presented a plaque to the hotel to commemorate the development of underwater breathing apparatus for the OSS Maritime Unit and its connection to the Navy SEALs.
President Trump Rules Out Deploying Troops to Restore Order, Even as Riots Show No Signs of Slowing Down
Trump has opted to not show strength in the face of this crisis.
Just one day after President Donald Trump said he was willing to send military forces into states across the country to put down riots, he is reportedly backing off of the idea.
According to administration officials, Trump is happy with the result of yesterday’s enforcement measures during the riots – which included law enforcement officials being shot and police getting hit by SUVs. He will not be using the Insurrection Act to put troops on the streets to restore order anytime soon.
“The law is absolutely still on the table if things get really bad, but as of now he doesn’t think it’s going to have to go that far,” an administration official said to Axios.
“As President Trump has said, we cannot allow the voices of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by angry mobs, which is why the President will continue to take lawful, decisive action to stop the violence and restore the security of all Americans,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.
Trump made the pivot after RINO Republicans whined about his harsh rhetoric as the country burns due to extreme left-wing riots.
“I don’t think the Pentagon’s keen on getting brought into this unless they absolutely have to. We need to restore order, but using active duty military troops in circumstances like this is a fairly rare occurrence,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Tuesday.
“I would prefer that these things be handled by the state and local authorities,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said. “You want to de-escalate, rather than escalate.”
Yesterday, Trump declared that he would show zero tolerance for any more rioting and looting in the streets:
President Donald Trump announced tonight that he will deploy military force in cities that are gripped by riots if blue-state governors do not get their acts in order and do so soon.
“My first and highest duty as president is to defend our great country and the American people,” Trump said in his speech. “I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation and that is exactly what I will do.”
Trump made it clear that he is an “ally of all peaceful protesters” who are protesting about injustices committed against George Floyd, who died during a police encounter with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. However, Trump will not allow the rioters to disgrace Floyd’s memory with their looting and wanton property destruction.
Trump announced that he would deploy “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” in order to restore order in American cities. These forces could be deployed as soon as tonight considering how blue-state governors have done so poorly at keeping their states safe.
Earlier in the day, Trump had criticized governors throughout the country for their “weak” response to the growing violence.
President Trump has backed off at least temporarily from his boasts, showing yet again that his bark is much worse than his bite.
Trending on BLP
Violent Left3 days ago
ANTIFA Boy Surrendered by Mommy and Daddy to Pittsbugh Police for Allegedly Inciting a Riot
States3 days ago
RELEASED: Trucker Who Drove Through Unruly Mob on Minneapolis Highway Leaves Jail with No Charges
Deep State2 days ago
FBI Spooks Cover for ANTIFA Terrorists, Absolving Them From Their Role in Nationwide Riots
Big League National Security3 days ago
REPORT: Crates Filled with Pipe Bombs Discovered Near Korean War Memorial, Authorities Pursuing Suspect
Big League Guns3 days ago
JUSTICE: Omaha Business Owner Who Shot Rioting Looter Dead While Being Attacked Will Not Face Charges
Violent Left3 days ago
U.S. Marshal Killed By Rioter in Front of Las Vegas Courthouse
News3 days ago
Loser Erick Erickson Shills for Marco Rubio’s Weaksauce Response to Leftist-Led Rioting
Sports3 days ago
NBA Announcer Suspended for Tweeting ‘All Lives Matter’ on His Twitter Account