WWII,〈The Ghost Army 〉23rd Headquarters Special Troops Patch
二戰，〈幽靈部隊〉第23特種部隊指揮部臂章《Black Water Museum Collections | 黑水博物館館藏》
WWII,〈The Ghost Army 〉23rd Headquarters Special Troops
The 1100-man United States Army Tactical deception unit, was made up from various artists, movie makers, sound engineers and actors were given the unique mission to impersonate other Allied Army units to deceive the enemy. By the evening of June 6th, 1944, D-Day, when they landed on Normandy with the First Army, the first of its detachments were in action against the enemy. By June 23, 1945, the unit was on its way home after having served with four U S. armies through England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and Germany During their tenure, they put on a "traveling road show" utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretense. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines.
The visual deception arm of the Ghost Army was the 603rd Camouflage Engineers Battalion. It was equipped with inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks, and airplanes that the men would inflate with air compressors, and then camouflage imperfectly so that enemy aerial reconnaissance could see them. They could create dummy airfields, camps (complete with fake laundry hanging on clotheslines), motor pools, artillery batteries, and tank formations in a few hours.
The 3132 Signal Service Company dealt with the sonic deception & spoof radio. They had recorded sounds of armoured and infantry units onto a series of sound effects records that they brought to Europe, For For each deception. sounds could be "mixed" to match the scenario they wanted the enemy to believe This program was recorded on state-of-the-art wire recorders (the predecessor to the tape recorder), and then played back with powerful amplifiers and speakers mounted on halftracks. These sounds were audible 15 miles (24 km) away.
The "Spoof radio", as it was called, was handled by the Signal Company. Special Operators created phony traffic nets, impersonating the radio operators from real units. Different Morse Code operators each have their own individual style of sending, the Signal Company operators mimicked a departed operator's style so that the enemy would not detect that the real unit and its radio operator were long gone.
To complement existing techniques, the unit often employed theatrical effects to supplement the other deceptions. Collectively called "atmosphere", these included simulating actual units deployed elsewhere by the application of their divisional insignia, painting appropriate unit insignia on vehicles and having the individual companies deployed as if they were regimental headquarters units. The same few covered trucks or lorries, with just two troops in the visible seats near the rear to appear to be full of motorised infantry, would be driven in a loop to look like long convoys. "MPs" (military police) would be deployed at crossroads wearing appropriate divisional insignia and some personnel would dress as divisional generals and staff officers visiting towns where enemy agents or scouts were likely to see them. A few actual tanks and artillery pieces were occasionally assigned to the unit to make the "dummies" in the distance appear more realistic.