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The Ghost Army

World War II's Artists of Deception

Congressional Gold Medal

Gold Medal Screening February 26, 2016, on Capitol Hill from Vimeo.


Bipartisan legislation has now been introduced in both the House and the Senate to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Peter King (R-NY) introduced the HR 2170, the Congressional Gold Medal Act in the House. More than 40 other representatives from both parties have co-sponsored the bill. On the Senate side, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have introduced companion legislation , S-2730. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) recently co-sponsored, and other Senators have indicated they are about to get on oard.



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"I am incredibly proud to sponsor this bipartisan bill, which would honor Granite State Mickey McKane and all the heroic members of the Ghost Army whose innovative tactics saved thousands of lives during humanity's darkest hour. I urge my colleagues to join me in working across the aisle to convey our overdue appreciation to these brave Americans, whose critical accomplishments remained a secret for decades." - Representative Annie Kuster, D-NH

“I commend Rep. Kuster for introducing this legislation which honors the critical role of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (“Ghost Army”) during World War II. Their heroics were unknown for more than 40 years and it is finally time that the American people not only learn about but recognize their ingenuity and selflessness which saved countless American and Allied lives. They deserve their due.” - Representative Peter King, R-NY

"The United States will be eternally grateful to the Ghost Army for their proficient use of innovative tactics throughout World War II, which saved thousands of lives and were instrumental in the defeat of Nazi Germany.” -Senator Ed Markey, D-MA

Fewer than 40 of the citizen-soldiers who served in this unit are left. Seventy years after the war’s end it is time to recognize the incredible and largely overlooked accomplishments of this select group of soldiers. In recent years the Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to other under-recognized WWII units including The Doolittle Raiders (2015) The Monuments Men (2013), Women Air Service Pilots (2010) and the Native American Code talkers (2008). The dangerous, life-saving, top-secret work of The Ghost Army is well deserving of similar recognition.

Helen Patton, grand-daughter of famed WWII General George S. Patton Jr, has wholeheartedly thrown her support behind the effort, pointing to the numerous operations the Ghost Army conducted on Patton's behalf. She writes: ""The Ghost Army will live in our hearts and minds forever. May Congress pass this legislation and honor these heroes at last while the remaining handful are still with us. For to quotePatton himself, it is time to 'Give credit where credit is due.'"

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From left, Ghost Army veterans Jack Masey, Seymour Nussenbaum, Nick Leo, John Jarvie, and Gil Seltzer with Rick Beyer.

What can you do?

All Congressional Gold Medal legislation must be sponsored by two-thirds of the House and Senate before it can be considered. So we need co-sponsors. Here's what to do: 1) Find the Contact Info for your Senators and Representative 2) Copy one of the sample letters below and paste it into an email. (There are different letters for the House and Senate) 3) Addyour own comments if you wish. 4) Send it to your Senator or Representative. 5) If you receive a reply of any sort, please forward it to rick@ghostarmy.org so we can follow up with them. Thank you so much!


The men of the Ghost Army were not textbook soldiers or heroes, yet they served with ingenuity, courage and honor, using creativity and illusion to save lives. It is time to honor them while some of them are still left.

Sample Email

House of Representatives

Dear Representative (Name)

As a constituent, I am writing to request that you co-sponsor H.R. 2170, the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), would provide long-overdue recognition to a group of veterans who played a courageous and crucial role in securing Allied victory in World War II. Similar legislation has also been introduced in the Senate.

On the battlefields of Europe in 1944-45, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, also known as the “Ghost Army,” risked their lives to draw fire away from American troops. They had no heavy weapons, but employed ingenious tactical deceptions to fool the enemy. Recruited from art schools, ad agencies, and elsewhere, they used inflatable decoy tanks and artillery, fake radio transmissions and sound effects to conceal Allied troop movements from the Germans.

The Ghost Army’s activities were classified until recently, meaning that their heroic actions went largely unrecognized. H.R. 2170 would collectively award them a Congressional Gold Medal in celebration of their bravery and creativity, as well as their contributions to the Allied victory.

For more information, you can visit www.ghostarmy.org. More than 30 representatives in both parties have already co-sponsored this bill. Won't you join them? We need 290 House co-sponsors before it can be taken up in committee.

Thank you for your consideration,

(Your name)

Senate

Dear Senator (Name),

As a constituent, I am writing to request that you co-sponsor S.2730, the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) , would provide long-overdue recognition to a group of veterans who played a courageous and crucial role in securing Allied victory in World War II. A similar bill has been introduced in the house by Rep. Annie Kuster (D_NH) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

On the battlefields of Europe in 1944-45, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, also known as the “Ghost Army,” risked their lives to draw fire away from American troops. They had no heavy weapons, but employed ingenious tactical deceptions to fool the enemy. Recruited from art schools, ad agencies, and elsewhere, they used inflatable decoy tanks and artillery, fake radio transmissions and sound effects to conceal Allied troop movements from the Germans.

The Ghost Army’s activities were classified until recently, meaning that their heroic actions went largely unrecognized. S2730 would collectively award them a Congressional Gold Medal in celebration of their bravery and creativity, as well as their contributions to the Allied victory.

For more information, you can visit www.ghostarmy.org. More than 30 representatives in both parties have already co-sponsored this bill. Won't you join them? We need 66 Senate co-sponsors before it can be taken up in committee.

Thank you for your consideration,

(Your name)

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updated: 3 months ago