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Commendation by General Simpson

On 29 March, Lt. Gen. Simpson formally commended the 23rd for its part in the Rhine River campaign:


29 March 1945.

SUBJECT: Commendation

TO: Commanding Officer, 23rd Headquarters Special Troops,
       Twelfth Army Group. THROUGH: Commanding General,
       Twelfth Army Group.

1. 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, Twelfth Army Group, was attached to NINTH U.S. Army on 15 March 1945 to participate in the operation to cross the Rhine River.

2. The unit was engaged in a special project, which was an important part of the operation. The careful planning, minute attention to detail, and diligent execution of the tasks to be accomplished by the personnel of the organization reflect great credit on this unit.

3. I desire to commend the officers and men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, Twelfth Army Group, for their fine work and to express my appreciation for a job well done.

Lt. Gen, U.S. Army

With the Rhine crossed, there was no more need for deception. The American Armies were slicing up Germany at will and the 23rd would only have been in the way. After 25 March, therefore, the 23rd was practically out of the war. However, an admirable situation map was kept by Capt. Nelson Hotchkiss, Ass’t S-2, in Briey so the command did not lose touch with the fighting units altogether.

The 23rd had been informed as early as January that it would probably go to the Pacific Theatre. Many people wondered how deception would fare in the "island-hopping" war but as long as the unit went via a 30-day furlough in the States and not by way of the Suez, no one could complain very much. After Operation VIERSEN, 12th Army Group told the War Department that the 23rd was no longer needed in the ETO. This meant that the 23rd would be ordered to ship out any day and the fateful telegram was awaited with great expectation.

In the meantime, the 23rd offered their services in any capacity to 12th Army Group. They should have known that one never volunteers for anything in the Army. The command was immediately split to the four winds and given some very strange assignments. Some of the Signal Company went to FIRST ARMY to act as a monitoring unit for the Corps. It nearly reached Czechoslovakia. The wire platoon worked for THIRD ARMY recovering previous "spiral-4." In five weeks this energetic platoon rolled up 800 miles of wire worth $500 per mile, saving $400,000 tax-paying dollars. Another part of the Signal Company served in the 12th Army Group code room and on May 7 "broke" the V-E announcement from General Eisenhower.

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