“’I’m head of a very dangerous group of senior citizens,’ says OSS Society president Charles Pinck, slouched across from me at a table in Le Pain Quotidien’s Georgetown outpost. The 54-year-old is dressed in khakis and a plaid shirt, and perched atop his tousled silver-blond hair is a black cap emblazoned with the initials of the organization his life revolves around.
That would be the Office of Strategic Services, the spy agency founded by Gen. William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan during World War II. OSS, which at its peak in 1944 employed 13,000 men and women who carried out unprecedented acts of espionage and sabotage against the Axis powers, was the forerunner of today’s CIA. It’s estimated that fewer than 100 of these original operatives are still alive, and Pinck, a private investigator by day, devotes more hours than he’s willing to quantify to ensuring that they are remembered. His latest undertaking? Raising $93 million to erect the National Museum of Intelligence and Special Operations. The 56,000-square-foot institution he plans to open by 2021 will honor the OSS legacy while also highlighting the ongoing importance of intelligence-gathering and special operations.”
Pinck was interviewed in Kempner’s upcoming film “The Spy Behind Home Plate,” the first feature-length documentary about Moe Berg.