101. Memorandum From the Interim Activities Director of the Strategic Services Unit, Department of War (Irwin) to the Assistant Secretary of War (McCloy)0


  • Tentative Plan for Disposition of Strategic Services Unit
With the establishment of the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), the question of the disposition of Strategic Services Unit (SSU) arises. The following are the three most obvious courses to follow:
Transfer the activity to G–2,
Liquidate the activity,
Place appropriate parts of SSU’s resources and activities under control of CIG.
a. Retention of SSU under G–2 would probably result in its liquidation and the loss of personnel and operations suitable and valuable to CIG. Many individuals, either civilians or military personnel eligible for discharge, are anxious to join a central agency but are unwilling to serve G–2. These would probably be lost if transfer to G–2 is made.
b. Actual liquidation of the activity is undesirable since certain valuable assets will be dispersed, and trained personnel lost to the service. However, the continuation of SSU as such is undesirable due to its known character and its identification with OSS.
c. Transfer of SSU to the CIG would furnish that agency with an organization in being for intelligence operation. The organization has certain defects, its operations have exposed much of its personnel to foreign intelligence agencies and its identification with OSS and its known clandestine activity would deprive it of cover essential for future activity. While transfer appears desirable, it must be done in such a manner as to retain assets without unduly compromising future operations of the intelligence section of the CIG.
The following is recommended:
An administrative group, selected from present SSU, be retained with the designation “Strategic Services Unit” to continue the liquidation of SSU and whatever remains of OSS under War Department control.
The remainder of SSU be transferred to operational control of the Director, under whatever designation he may prescribe, including the buildings, equipment, etc., now under control of SSU.
SSU, and that portion transferred to the War Department representation in CIG, be kept in the Secretary of War’s group in the War Department, for convenience in administration and for budget purposes.
S. LeRoy Irwin 1

Major General, USA
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG–1807, Job 83–00036, Box 12, Folder 11. No classification marking. The source text is a copy transcribed for the CIA Historian, presumably in the early 1950s.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.