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Bipartisan Bill to Honor Ghost Army Passes Halfway Mark for Senate Co-Sponsors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The campaign to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the “Ghost Army” – the highly secretive WWII Army units that created ingenious deceptions on the battlefields of Europe – gained 13 new co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate this week for a total of 40. It has passed the halfway mark to the 67 co-sponsors required to bring the bill, S 1404, up for a vote.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), has already passed resoundingly in the House. Once the Senate acts, the measure will head to the president’s desk for his signature.

“The contributions made by the Ghost Army must be recognized with the utmost gratitude, but unfortunately, to this day, their courage, skill and bravery has remained in the shadows,” said Senator Markey. “I applaud the 40 United States senators who have recognized these patriots for their dedication to our country during World War II. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will continue to support this effort and allow for these patriots to be bestowed with the recognition they deserve.”

The existence of the Ghost Army was top secret for more than 50 years until it was declassified in 1996. That’s when the public first learned of the creative, daring techniques the Ghost Army employed to fool and distract the enemy about the strength and location of American troops, including the use of inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio trickery and impersonation.

The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops staged more than 20 deception operations, often dangerously close to the front lines, in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. They have been called “a traveling road show of deception,” a unit of only 1,100 troops looking and sounding like more than 20,000. They are credited with saving an estimated 30,000 American lives. One U.S. Army analyst stated, “Rarely, if ever, has there been a group of such a few men which had so great an influence on the outcome of a major military campaign.”​ A sister unit the 3133rd Signal Company Special, carried out two deceptions in Italy.

The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress's utmost expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions.  Dating back to the American Revolution, The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States.

A call to pass the bill came recently from retired Army Brig. Gen. Edward G. Burley who wrote in The Hill, “It’s time to call the Ghost Army what they are: heroes. They, as well as the descendants of their fellow soldiers, deserve to see their bold, brave lifesaving efforts acknowledged and honored by the country they served.”

Surviving Ghost Army veterans are scattered throughout the U.S.: Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah. For more information see www.ghostarmylegacyproject.org

The current cosponsors of the Senate bill are:

Republicans

Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH*
Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND*
Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME*
Sen. John Kennedy, R-LA*
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR*
Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT*
Sen. Rick Scott, R-FL
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MS
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-IA
Sen. James Risch

Democrats

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT*
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA*
Sen. Robert Casey, Jr., D-PA*
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN*
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ*
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD*
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA*
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY*
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-IL
Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-NV
Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan, D-NH
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI
Sen. Corey Booker, D-NJ
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-CA
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM
Sen. Mark Kelly, D-AZ
Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA
Sen. Michael Bennett, D-CO
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL

Independent
Sen. Angus King, I-ME*

*Original co-sponsor


Contact:
Rick Beyer, President
Ghost Army Legacy Project
781-801-3261
rick@ghostarmy.org

updated: 2 months ago

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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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