Biden signs bill to honor WWII Ghost Army soldiers

Feb 1, 2022, 7:13 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2022, 1:24 pm
This photo provided by Andrea J. Cheeney shows four generations of the McKane family pose with an i...

This photo provided by Andrea J. Cheeney shows four generations of the McKane family pose with an inflatable tank at the Ghost Army exhibit on June 7, 2021 at Historical Society of Cheshire County, Keene N.H. Their patriarch and local resident Mickey McKane was involved with the Ghost Army Unit. Members of two top-secret World War II military units referred to as the “Ghost Army” will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal more than 75 years after their service, under legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. ( Andrea J. Cheeney via AP)

( Andrea J. Cheeney via AP)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Members of two top-secret World War II military units referred to as the “Ghost Army” will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal more than 75 years after their service, under legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The Ghost Army refers to two units that used inflatable equipment, sound effects, radio trickery, and other deceptions in Europe to draw enemy forces away from American units, saving an estimated 30,000 lives. Because of their secret classification, members were not recognized for their heroism.

Biden signed the bill Tuesday.

“Through their courageous, creative, and innovative tactics, the top-secret Ghost Army outmaneuvered and deceived the Nazis, saving thousands of Allied lives during World War II,” said U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, a Democrat who sponsored the bill in the House. “More than 75 years after defeating fascism in Europe, it’s time these soldiers receive the highest honor we can award: the Congressional Gold Medal.”

The legislation in the House was co-led by Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah. In the Senate, the legislation was led by Sens. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine.

Rick Beyer of the Ghost Army Legacy Project worked for seven years to get the bill passed. “Armed with their wits and guile these men saved lives and helped win the war,” he said in a statement. “Their story is an inspiration to all of us!”

One of the Ghost Army veterans honored is Mickey McKane, of Keene.

“The entire McKane family is delighted that this story is now a part of American history,” family member Keith McKane said in a statement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

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Biden signs bill to honor WWII Ghost Army soldiers