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Ghost Army in the News

Ghost Army: 80-Year Journey from Battlefield Deception to Congressional Honor

Gold Medals on Display

“Rarely, if ever, has there existed a group of such few men, which had so great an influence on the outcome of a major military campaign.”

The preceding quote, taken from a now-declassified report detailing the missions of a secret World War II unit, was read by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, as he presided over a recent Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring the members of the Ghost Army – the highest honor Congress can bestow upon anyone.

Using inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio trickery, and creativity to fool the Germans about the size and location of American units, the 1,100 members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and 200 from the 3133rd Signal Company, carried out a combined 24 battlefield deceptions in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and Italy.

Using their “fakery,” just over 1,000 men fooled Hitler’s army into thinking there were over 30,000. To pull off this hoax, a carefully chosen group of artists, engineers, professional soldiers, and draftees was assembled. Included in the mix were not-yet-famous fashion designer Bill Blass, painter and sculptor Ellsworth Kelly, and photographer Art Kane.

Its existence was top secret for more than 50 years – only being declassified in 1996 – and they are credited not only with saving tens of thousands of American lives, but for playing a decisive role in winning the war – without ever firing a gun.

The ceremony on March 21 was the capstone of a journey nearly two decades in the making.

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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