The existence of the ‘Ghost Army’ was not known for about 50 years after it was formed in January 1944
US President Joe Biden signed the “Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act,” which recognises the “Ghost Army,” a tactical deception unit deployed by the US during WWII.
The Ghost Army’s mission was simple: deceive Hitler’s forces and their allies. This unit was tasked with putting on a show for the German troops to deceive and manipulate their decisions. The unit had a “strange mission” to keep the enemy in the dark about the number and location of American troops.
Their deception tactics included using dummy tanks, personnel, trucks and sound effects. The majority of the men and officers were New York and Philadelphia artists, some were combat engineers, and some were specially trained to deceive.
They played ear-piercingly loud recorded sounds to mimic troop movement. They also sent out misleading radio communications to confuse German intelligence. The goal was to fool the Germans into thinking the Allies had forces nearby, giving actual units elsewhere time to manoeuvre.
The work was so closely guarded that members credited with saving thousands of Allied lives went unnoticed for decades after the war. Its existence was revealed in 1996. Only a few surviving Ghost Army veterans scattered across the United States 77 years after this mission was completed.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Participants in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War were among the first recipients.