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Gold medal bill for WWII unit passes after Senate vote

Allied troops employed deceptive tactics including inflatable military machinery to fool Axis troops during World War II.

Images from Wikipedia Commons.

Authorization for a congressional gold medal recognizing the American “Ghost Army” of World War II is one step closer with the Senate’s Dec. 15 passage of S. 1404.

Originally introduced April 28, 2021, by Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., as S. 1605, the legislation was renumbered to S. 1404. After passage by the Senate, the measure moved to the House for consideration.

The legislation calls for a gold medal to recognize the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133rd Signal Service Company, popularly known as the “Ghost Army,” in recognition of their unique and highly distinguished service in conducting deception operations in Europe during World War II.

Full-scale deception efforts began with Operation Elephant from July 1 to 4, 1944, in which the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops covered the movement of the 2nd Armored Division when it left a reserve position to go into the line between the First United States and Second British Armies.

Operation Elephant was the first of the 21 full-scale tactical deceptions completed by the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops.

The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used inflatable tanks, artillery, airplanes and other vehicles, advanced engineered soundtracks, and skillfully crafted radio trickery to create the illusion of sizable American forces where there were none, to draw the enemy away from Allied troops’ actual locations.

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