At 100 years old, World War II OSS veteran Ellsworth “Al” Johnson was honored with the U.S. Army Special Forces tab and green beret. Johnson, who had served in France and China with the OSS, met all the requirements to join the Special Forces Regiment, a unit that shares historical ties with the OSS.
- Ellsworth “Al” Johnson served in World War II as part of the OSS Operational Group in France and China.
- The Special Forces Regiment, with which Johnson was honored, shares a lineage with the OSS. The modern U.S. Army’s Special Forces was not formed until 1952, evolving from groups like the OSS Operational Groups.
- Major Russell M. Gordon of the 1st Special Forces Command highlighted the rarity and significance of this event, labeling it likely the last of its kind.
- Johnson participated in critical operations, including working with the French resistance to assault a German-held dam in France and an attack on a Japanese garrison in China.
- Despite his significant contributions during the war, Johnson’s OSS activities remained classified until 1995.