SAGE a memoir (416 pg in a 6"X9" format) by Col. Jerry Sage of the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Studies) and former commander of the 10th Special Forces Group (A) in Bad Tolz/Lenggries Germany. $20.00 + $4.00 P&H. Mail your check or money order to: SFA Chapter 17 and mail to P.O. Box 777, Maggie Valley, NC 28751. Credit cards accepted. Call Bill Gunn at 828-400-0070. We can be contacted through Old Mountain Press' publisher, Tom Davis (Vice President of SFA CH17), by clicking HERE.

Hardback $40.00 and FREE shipping.

Limited edition hardback up to #170  $70.00 and FREE shipping.

On orders of 5 or more of the paperback $20.00 ea and FREE shipping.

Now available for your KINDLE $9.99 

During his three years of captivity in a German POW camp, Sage helped work on the three-tunnel escape project that helped formed the plot for the movie The Great Escape. Sage earned the nickname "Cooler King" because he was placed in solitary confinement 15 times in the Nazi camp Stalag Luft III.

Special Forces Association (SFA) Chapter 17 has updated the original book with excerpts from Col. Sage’s O.S.S. file (One example from the O.S.S. file is Wild Bill Donovan’s letter to Mrs. Sage notifying her of her husband's status!) and other reference material. Also included are thoughts about the book and Special Forces in general from several Special Forces soldiers.

SFA Chapter 17, with permission from Toby Publishing, has  republished the book SAGE, a memoir by Col Jerry Sage of the WWII O.S.S. and former commander of the 10th Special Forces Group (A) in Bad Tolz/Lenggries Germany.

Profit from the sale of this book go to:

  • Continuing the support of the Western Carolina JROTC and ROTC programs.
  • The support of Special Forces Q Course graduations.
  • Improving the broad support of all Special Forces who reside in Western North Carolina. Taking care of those who need assistance.
  • Vet Smiles Program.


Credit cards accepted. 

Call Bill Gunn at


About this book  

Sage is the remarkable autobiography of Colonel Jerry Sage, the guerrilla leader and saboteur known as "Silent Death" who served William "Wild Bill" Donovan's O.S.S. (the forerunner of the C.I.A.) during World War II. Colonel Sage's first assignment was to organize behind-the-lines operations against Erwin Rommel in North Africa. After being captured and brutally interrogated, he was sent to the P.O.W. camp Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany. As an O.S.S. officer, Sage would have been executed had his identity been known. But at the time he was captured, Sage jettisoned his O.S.S. hardware and claimed he was a shot-down flier. His true identity was never discovered by his Nazi captors. While a prisoner of war, Sage conducted classes in silent killing with a hand-picked group of Americans. He also worked for fifteen months on the huge, three-tunnel project known in book and movie as "The Great Escape" and was in charge of hiding over 200,000 pounds of golden sand from the German "ferrets." Sage is a vivid, personal account of O.S.S. training under "Wild Bill" Donovan and of the subversive activities conducted in North Africa. It recalls the Nazi interrogations and treatment of Allied prisoners, the vicious reprisals reserved for those prisoners who tried to escape and the extraordinary resourcefulness of the men inside the camps. It is the testimony of a unique individual with the faith, courage, and indomitable will to serve his country and pursue the cause of freedom.

Recommendations for this book:

WELL DONE SFA Chapter 17! You give honor to this early U.S. Army Special Forces hero! Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it; and those who fail to revere the warriors on whose shoulders they stand, are missing a soul and will always lack purpose. Colonel Jerry "Robin" Sage led a life of legend. A man worthy of emulation by all those who serve in Special Forces, venerate Freedom, and care deeply about the next Generation. READ THIS BOOK!

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Richard C. Lamb, 2015 US Special Operations Command Bull Simons Award winner, 2017 Ranger Hall of Fame Inductee, and former Sergeant Major, Company C, 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Germany.


THE SPECIAL FORCES ASSOCIATION’S Chapter 17 has done American patriots of all stripes a great service by republishing an autobiography of Col. Jerry "Robin" Sage—a man whose story inspires and whose example of dedicated service in the practice of the American Way of Irregular War is to be emulated by all who defend the country in the increasingly lethal competition among nations and war. READ THIS BOOK!

Lieutenant General (Retired) Charles T. Cleveland, former Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Command and former Commander, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Task Force Viking, the Combined Joint U.S. and Kurdish force during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


In time, Fairbairn taught us all the martial arts—judo and karate, the most useful blows of Chinese boxing, the high kicks of the French savate, and many other tricks of gutter fighting picked up in the alleys of the Shanghai waterfront. Among the weapons he taught us to use were his own stiletto-type Sikes-Fairbairn knife, a jungle machete and another weapon he called a smatchet

In reality my mission was simple, to accompany another OSS man to his meeting with an informer and then see that he got back safely. To assure his protection I carried a large snap knife in my hand. This weapon gave me two options. If I pressed a button, the blade would shoot out. But if I just held it in my hand and didn’t use the blade, the bulk of the weapon made a solid fist. Hitting someone with that knife was like clobbering him with a billiard ball.

Many sterner methods were used to break down prisoners psychologically and physically. One treatment was food deprivation. They reduced my diet to one potato per day. During questioning a full meal would be brought in and placed on a table to tempt me.

We were always aware of the presence of the hundfuhrer with his sentry dog as well as the "ferrets," trained security men armed with pistols who tested the ground with long steel probes to check for tunnels. On nightly rounds, the ferrets pointed their powerful flashlights under the buildings and in every dark corner of the compound, searching for anyone who defied the curfew.

The one organization that preoccupied some of us was guessed at, but never pinned down, by the Germans. This was our secret "X organization," and its main objective was to assist us in our escapes. The X organization also supervised and safeguarded covert or semi-covert activities such as transmitting radio messages to our Allies through a method developed by the British.

At the gate the guards jabbed pitchforks into the mass of branches, and most of the men were discovered. At over six feet two inches and two hundred pounds, I was spotted almost immediately. The only ones who made it through the gate were a couple of smaller men, Eagle Squadron pilots Barry Mahon and Leroy Skinner, who hid very deep in the branches in front of the truck.

To prepare for "The Great Escape," we not only had to build the tunnels, but also needed to manufacture clothing, forge papers, and ready the supplies necessary to flee Germany. For these preparations we set up factories where kriegies (POWs) manufactured hundreds of items.

Many Russians, Poles and groups of underground resistance fighters were shot or gassed. Even SS men convicted of crimes were killed—usually hanged—including a general who was involved in the July plot to assassinate Hitler. They sentenced him to die slowly in a noose of piano wire.

From time to time there were very depressing incidents, such as prisoners receiving "Dear John" letters from home—telling that the girlfriend or wife had decided the man was too long behind barbed wire so she had tied up with someone else. The classic example was so good that the fellow permitted it to be posted on the bulletin board. It was a letter from his fiancée: "Darling, you have been gone so long that I’ve married your father. Love, Mother."

The sixth of June was the great day when the compound went crazy. The first word about the D-day invasion came from Padre MacDonald through the wire when a fellow shouted to him in Gaelic. It was confirmed over the compound loudspeaker by the Germans, who were saying the Allies were being killed on the beaches. From then on, our people spent a lot of time trying to plot the progress of our armies across Europe.

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