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Encore: The Ghost Army of World War II honored by signing of the “Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act”

The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, otherwise known as “The Ghost Army” was one of the best kept secrets of World War II. This unit of architects, artists, radio operators and other creative thinkers saved the lives of tens of thousands of Allied troops through their efforts to deceive the German Army. Their efforts led German forces to make serious strategic mistakes, but the Ghost Army’s contributions to winning the war remained secret until 1996.

On Feb. 1, President Joe Biden signed into law the “Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act,” “in recognition of their unique and highly distinguished service in conducting deception operations in Europe during World War II.”

In light of this recognition we listen back to our 2014 conversation about the Ghost Army with Ghost Army veteran and architect Lieutenant Gil Seltzer. Seltzer was 99 years-old at the time of this recording. He passed away in August 2021 just shy of his 107th birthday.

The conversation also included author and filmmaker Rick Beyer. His documentary film about the Ghost Army premiered in PBS in 2013.