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23rd Headquarters Special Troops

23rd Overview

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of G. I. s landed in France to conduct a special mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks, a massive collection of sound effects records, and more than a few tricks up their sleeves, their job was to create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German Army as their audience. From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the read more

Operation Brest

Operation BREST marked the first time the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used visual, radio, and sonic deception altogether. It was one of the rare times that they found themselves in the midst of a major battle. Corporal Jack Masey, from Brooklyn New York, recalled that Brest as “the biggest piece of action I ever saw in World War II. ”[i] And it was a learning experience that readied the deception troops for future operations in the months to come. Reports Below are some of the operation reports from this read more

Operation Bettembourg

Operation BETTEMBOURG was thrown together in a hurry, and then stretched into the longest deception operation that the 23rd HQ Special Troops conducted during the war. For more than a week, the 23rd helped defend a dangerously undermanned section of the Third Army’s front line, stretching more than twenty miles. Ghost Army Operations Officer Col. Clifford Simenson considered it a turning point for the unit: “It was our first operation that was executed fully professionally and correctly. ”[i] And a major part of the operation was conducted inside the commune of Bettembourg. read more

3133rd Signal Service Company Special

3133rd Overview

The 3133rd Signal Service Company was activated June 21, 1944, at the Army Experimental Station at Pine Camp, New York. Formed around a cadre of men from the 3132nd and officers at the camp, the 3133rd consisted of 10 officers and 192 men under the command of Major John Williams. Drawing from battlefield experiences of its sister unit serving with the 23 rd Headquarters Special Troops, the 3133rd standardized equipment and increased the size of its security force. The 3133rd also placed its speakers inside M-10 Tank Destroyers nicknamed “slugs. ” To make room read more

Please Support Our Ongoing Efforts

The soldiers of The Ghost Army used inflatable tanks, sound effects, and imagination to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. The Ghost Army Legacy Project is ensuring that these men and their accomplishments are never forgotten.

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Ghost Army Legacy Project
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Chicago, IL 60605

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