Connecticut Street Armory - Table of Contents .................... William J. Donovan - Table of Contents
William J. "Wild Bill"
The text below is an excerpt from
Warren R. Baltes, The Story of the 74th Regimental Armory in Buffalo, New York
Click on illustrations for larger size
The armory is the meeting place for several old military organizations, such as the Buffalo Cavalry Association and the 174th Veterans Association.
The Buffalo Cavalry Association preserves the memory of the storied Troop 1, the Buffalo Cavalry unit that fought against bandit Pancho Villa on the Texas Mexican border in 1916.
William Donovan, later to become founder of the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the C.I.A.), was a member of this elite organization. According to author Anthony Cave Brown in his book, The Last Hero - Wild Bill Donovan:
Wild Bill Donovan, was the only man in United States history to win the country's top four medals for gallantry and public service.
This is the stuff of history - a history certainly worth preserving.
William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, a native of Buffalo's Old First Ward, led a varied and exciting life, making a name for himself as well as a real difference in the world. From his humble military beginnings as a member of Troop I, 1st New York Cavalry, New York Army National Guard, his leadership abilities were quickly recognized, elevating himto the rank of Captain and command of his troop.
During World War I, he became commander of New York's fabled "Fighting 69th" Infantry Regiment, receiving the medal of honor for gallantry on the battlefield.
After the War he began a long devotion to his country in many positions of public service. Donovan had traveled widely in Europe, and by the time WorldWar II broke out, he was well-prepared not only to become a top advisor to the President, but also a General in the United States Army, forming the O.S.S.(Office of Strategic Services) later to become the CIA.
As former CIA Director William Colby said in his book Honorable
Men: "Wild Bill Donovan was a vigorous, brilliant, adventurous man with just the right combination of romanticism, sophistication and intellectual keenness to be perfect for the job."
The many successes of the OSS achieved during World War undoubtedly served to shorten the conflict, a fact countless millions can be thankful for.