99. Memorandum From the Director of the Strategic Services Unit, Department of War (Magruder) to the Assistant Secretary of War (McCloy)0


  • The Strategic Services Unit at the Beginning of November
This letter covers developments during the last half of October in the situation of SSU as described in previous reports dated 9 and 25 October 1945.1
The total personnel strength of SSU has been reduced from 7,640 to 6,447 in the fortnight from 19 October to 2 November. Of the latter figure [Page 247] more than 2,350 persons are in process of separation, either in this country, en route here or awaiting transportation from overseas. Details of SSU deployment are set forth in the table attached as Exhibit 1.2
For details of liquidation of seven OSS operational branches see Exhibit 2. Of these branches, nuclei of no more than nine persons from the Morale Operations Branch and three persons from the Special Operations Branch will be transferred to the Secret Intelligence Branch to process and study information on foreign developments in clandestine propaganda and sabotage and to preserve the techniques evolved by OSS in the past war. The other five branches, viz. Operational Groups Command, Field Photographic Special Projects, Field Experimental Unit, and Research & Development, are being liquidated completely. Their records and reports will be maintained by SSU.
The following progress has been made in arranging transfer from SSU rolls of personnel engaged in War Crimes, Strategic Bombing Survey and Intelligence Photographic Documentation work. (Initial steps were reported on 25 October.)3
The Strategic Bombing Survey personnel has all been transferred to USSBS.
Mr. Justice Jackson has agreed that SSU War Crimes personnel be transferred to another agency of the War Department for attachment to his office on temporary duty. When necessary data has been received from Mr. Justice Jackson discussion will be had with representatives of the Office of the Judge Advocate General to effect this transfer.
G–2, A–2 and ONI have indicated approval of a plan to place the Intelligence Photographic Documentation Project under the direction of the Joint Topographic Subcommittee of the JIC of JCS. Under this plan 132 members of the Field Photographic Branch would be transferred out of SSU and detailed to IPDP. This proposal has already been submitted to you for approval.
The following are the major developments in the missions overseas:
Europe-Africa-Near East. In France, MTO, and the Near East, reorientation of activities continues along the lines indicated in the previous reports. The missions in Germany and Austria are now concentrating on strategic intelligence, with an acceleration of clandestine activities in Germany. SI and X–2 operations will be closely coordinated and under cover. [20 lines of source text not declassified]

[2 paragraphs (19 lines of source text) not declassified]

John Magruder 4

Brig. Gen., USA
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG–579, Job 83–00036, Box 4, Folder 7. Secret; American Eyes.
  2. Documents 96 and 97.
  3. Exhibits 1 and 2 are in the Supplement.
  4. Not further identified.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.