Press Releases

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today presented 10 medals to Frederick Mayer, a World War II veteran who served as a clandestine agent behind enemy lines.

As an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operative, Mayer posed as a German officer in Austria. Despite being captured and tortured by the Gestapo, Mayer helped negotiate the surrender of Innsbruck in 1945, avoiding a final battle there that could have cost countless lives and caused great destruction.

“Mr. Mayer is a remarkable but incredibly humble man whose bravery in World War II is only now getting the attention it deserves,” Rockefeller said. “I am truly honored to be here today, and to share his story.”

Since learning of Mr. Mayer’s incredible service, Rockefeller has been working to ensure that Mayer receives any medals or commendations that were not awarded because of the secrecy of his mission. (Read more about Mr. Mayer’s story by clicking here, and here.)

Today, Rockefeller presented Mr. Mayer with the Prisoner of War Medal, awarded for honorable service while being held in enemy hands, along with the Legion of Merit; Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Star devices; World War II Victory Medal; World War II Honorable Service Lapel Button; and Parachutist Badge.

In addition, Rockefeller recently wrote to President Obama asking for a presidential citation in Mr. Mayer’s honor, and submitted a statement in the Congressional Record recounting his amazing story. (Read the statement for the Congressional Record by clicking here.)

“Simply put, Frederick Mayer is an American hero,” Rockefeller said.

Elements of Mayer’s story are being told in a new film called “The Real Inglorious Bastards,” scheduled to premiere at the 7th Annual GI Film Festival on May 7 in Arlington, Virginia.