An effort is underway asking for recognition for a major military campaign unit that was classified top secret for more than forty years.

The Ghost Army of World War II, a tactical deception unit, staged a campaign to fool the enemy into thinking the United States was heavily mobilized when it was not.

Comprising 1,100 men, the unit used mobile inflatable dummy tanks, played sounds of war over loud speakers, and conducted fake radio transmissions, all in an effort to fool German soldiers into thinking Americans had more forces and units than they actually did.

(L-R) John Jarvie, Arthur Shilstone, Seymour Nussenbaum and Nick Leo, veterans of the Ghost Army of World War II.
Courtesy, The Ghost Army Legacy Project

Rick Beyer, president of the Ghost Army Legacy Project, has written about the unit and produced a documentary.

“This was a unit that was capable of carrying out multiple deceptions,” he said, “and with the enemy never knowing they were doing so.”

Beyer is now involved in an effort to seek legislation to award the unit the Congressional Gold Medal.  

“They’ve never been really recognized for what they did, because it was so secret. So I think it’s really important to try to do so now,” he said.

Senator Edward Markey has introduced the legislation in the Senate, and the bill has also been introduced in the House. But two-thirds of the Senate and House must co-sponsor and sign on to the bill before it can be considered in committee, according to Beyer.

To listen to the full interview click on the audio player above.