May 20, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica-Based OSS’ Surviving Members Honored At Hotel Shangrila:

From 1939-41, Hotel Shangrila in Santa Monica and its beaches were OSS MU training grounds for Santa Monican recruits, whose secret wartime adventures led to today’s Navy SEAL operations.

William J. Donovan, New York lawyer and WWI MOH hero, appointed by President FD Roosevelt as the first Coordinator of Information (COI), and head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1942, recruited Santa Monica and LA County Beach lifeguards, the best waterman — skin divers, paddle boarders, surfers, and swimmers for the OSS Maritime Unit (MU).

Robert Silver, a former Sgt Major with the USMC and a past President of the LA Adventurers’ Club, recalled one of his memories.

“‘Wild Bill’ (General Donovan) utilized Hotel Shangrila and trained on Santa Monica beaches and formed the nucleus of OSS Maritime Unit Operational Swimmers, whose overseas, behind the lines, missions, played a major role in defeating the Axis Powers, 20 years before the Navy SEALs were set in motion,” Silver said.

Nearly 75 years later, Hotel Shangrila, The Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club, OSS Society, and British United Services Club of Los Angeles brought several surviving members of the original OSS Maritime Unit Operational Swimmers back to Hotel Shangrila for a three-night stay earlier this month, before they set sail for the once secret Toyon Cove, Catalina Island OSS training facility and USMC Camp Pendleton on the original P520 Crash Sea Rescue Boat.

Those honored at the hotel included 99-year-old Walter Mess who was once a civilian secret agent on special assignment Europe and senior flotilla commander for all MU operations in the Burma theater of war, 94-year-old John Spence considered “Americas First Frogman” the first SCUBA commando and OSS instructor, and Norman Abbott once a Burma theater OSS Operational Swimmer.

in News
Related Posts

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...

City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program: Santa Monica Beat – May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program * Santa Monica High School Students...

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Santa Monica City Council Selects Doug Sloan as New City Attorney

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

At its meeting this week, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Doug Sloan to serve as Santa Monica’s next City...

Landmark Theater Closing in Former Westside Pavillion

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Theater will close at the end of month By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Pico theater at the former Westside Pavillion...

Community Policing at the Heart of Beat Four

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

The Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) Program thrives through community involvement and collective work. Today we hear from Officer Aaron Alpert...

Santa Monica High School Among Top-900 Schools in Country

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

SAMOHI ranked 829 out of over 18,000 total schools By Staff Writer Santa Monica High School is among the top...

Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space: Santa Monica Beat – May 10th, 2022

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space* Grunion Fish Seen...