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Derry man to be awarded Congressional Gold Medal for WWII intel service

Union Leader Correspondent

June 20. 2018 10:22PM

Martin Gelb served behind enemy lines in Germany and helped liberate Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp. (Courtesy)

DERRY — On Monday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will present Martin Gelb of Derry the Congressional Gold Medal for his service in the intelligence organization that preceded the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during World War II.

The ceremony on Monday will be held at Town Hall at 10 a.m.

Gelb, who was a captain in the U.S. Army, served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA.

He served behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany, as well as in England and France, according to a news release from Shaheen’s office.

Gelb is a Jewish American. He assisted in the liberation of Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp and took part in countless missions up to and during D-Day. He served as a field radio officer, communications officer and military intelligence officer.

His OSS record was declassified in 2008. Shaheen said Gelb’s recognition is overdue.

“Captain Gelb was a part of a critical intelligence unit that shaped the course of World War II, and for decades his dedication and sacrifice has been kept secret,” Shaheen said in a statement. “I’m so thrilled that he is finally receiving the acknowledgement and commendation for his extraordinary service, and I join with our community in thanking him for his bravery and service to the United States, and to the world.”

Shaheen also worked to secure all of Gelb’s military awards and medals he’s entitled to.

In March, Congress bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal to all OSS members for their heroic service during World War II. Gelb was unable to attend that event.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Bill Conway, Town Administrator David Caron, CIA historian Brent Geary and author Bill Graser will also take part in the ceremony.

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