Ghost Army of WWII  Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Host Dale Throneberry and guest:

  • Rick Beyer, author and filmmaker 
Ghost Army Rick Beyer

World War II Special Unit – Ghost Army

The existence of the Ghost Army was top secret for more than 50 years until it was declassified in 1996. That’s when the public first learned of the creative, daring techniques the Ghost Army employed to fool and distract the enemy about the strength and location of American troops, including the use of inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio trickery and impersonation.

The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops carried out more than 20 deception missions, often dangerously close to the front, in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. This “traveling road show of deception,” of only 1,100 troops appearing to be more than 20,000, are credited with saving an estimated 30,000 American lives. U.S. Army analyst Mark Kronman stated, “Rarely, if ever, has there been a group of such a few men which had so great an influence on the outcome of a major military campaign.”​ A sister unit the 3133rd Signal Company Special, carried out two deceptions in Italy in 1945.

The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’s utmost expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions. Dating back to the American Revolution, The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest distinction Congress can bestow.

There are just nine surviving Ghost Army veterans scattered throughout the U.S., including:

Bill Anderson, 97, Kent, Ohio

Bernie Bluestein, 98, Schaumberg, Illinois

John Christman, 97, Leesburg, New Jersey

George Dramis, 97, Raleigh, North Carolina

Manny Frockt, 97, West Palm Beach, Florida

Nick Leo, 99, Brentwood, New York

Mark Mallardi, 98, Edgewater, Florida

Bill Nall, 97, Dunellon, FloridaSeymour Nussenbaum, 98, Monroe Township, New Jersey

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