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Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of World War II

Special Exhibitions Gallery
June 16, 2022 - January 2, 2023

Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of World War II tells the heroic tale of the top-secret U.S. Army’s 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the “Ghost Army,” and their covert operations across Europe that helped win the war, armed with nothing heavier than .50 caliber machine guns. This carefully selected group of artists, engineers, professional soldiers, and draftees—the first mobile, multimedia, tactical deception unit in U.S. Army history—saved thousands of lives and played an important part in Allied victory in World War II.

Consisting of 82 officers and 1,023 men, this top-secret unit was capable of simulating two whole divisions (approximately 30,000 men) and used inflatable tanks and vehicles, fake radio traffic, sound effects, and even phony generals to fool German forces during WWII’s final year. Originally curated by The National WWII Museum, Ghost Army sheds light on a story that was kept secret for over 50 years after the war ended.

The exhibition will detail the 22 large-scale deceptions launched by the “Ghost Army” from Normandy to the Rhine River between D-Day and the end of the war. Featured artifacts include artwork, uniforms, and inflatable tanks and planes, as well as text panels detailing unit operations, profiles of unit officers, archival photography, and sketches from unit officers will educate visitors on these unlikely heroes.

National Exhibition Sponsor



Larry and Carol Levy



David Hiller


Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of World War II was produced by The National World War II Museum.

Photo credits: National Archives; The National WWII Museum


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