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S. 1404: Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act


The text of the bill below is as of Jan 14, 2022 (Preprint (Suspension)).


117TH CONGRESS
   1ST SESSION
                    S. 1404

                    AN ACT
To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 23d Head-
   quarters Special Troops and the 3133d Signal Service
   Company, popularly known as the ‘‘Ghost Army’’, in
   recognition of their unique and highly distinguished serv-
   ice in conducting deception operations in Europe during
   World War II.

2 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Ghost Army Congres- 5 sional Gold Medal Act’’. 6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 7 Congress finds that— 8 (1) the 23d Headquarters Special Troops (com- 9 prised of the 23d Headquarters and Headquarters 10 Company, Special Troops, the 603d Engineer Cam- 11 ouflage Battalion, the 406th Combat Engineer Com- 12 pany, the 3132d Signal Service Company, and the 13 Signal Company, Special, 23d Headquarters, Special 14 Troops) and the 3133d Signal Service Company 15 were units of the United States Army that served in 16 Europe during World War II; 17 (2) the 23d Headquarters Special Troops was 18 actively engaged in battlefield operations from June 19 of 1944 through March of 1945; 20 (3) the 3133d Signal Service Company was en- 21 gaged in operations in Italy in 1945; 22 (4) the deceptive activities of these units were 23 integral to several Allied victories across Europe and 24 reduced casualties; † S 1404 ES
3 1 (5) in evaluating the performance of these units 2 after World War II, an Army analysis found that 3 ‘‘Rarely, if ever, has there been a group of such a 4 few men which had so great an influence on the out- 5 come of a major military campaign.’’; 6 (6) many Ghost Army soldiers were citizen-sol- 7 diers recruited from art schools, advertising agen- 8 cies, communications companies, and other creative 9 and technical professions; 10 (7) the first 4 members of the 23d Head- 11 quarters Special Troops landed on D-Day and 2 be- 12 came casualties while creating false beach landing 13 sites; 14 (8) a detachment of Army radio operators 15 under the command of Lieutenant Fred Fox joined 16 the invasion fleet for a planned deception, Operation 17 Troutfly, which was cancelled; 18 (9) Lieutenant Fox’s men and their radios were 19 instead attached to the 82d Airborne, which had lost 20 95 percent of its radio equipment, providing critical 21 communications as the 82d Airborne fought its way 22 inland; 23 (10) the secret deception operations of the 23d 24 Headquarters Special Troops commenced in France 25 on June 14, 1944, when Task Force Mason, a 16- † S 1404 ES
4 1 man detachment of the 23d led by First Lieutenant 2 Bernard Mason, arrived in Normandy; 3 (11) Lieutenant Mason and his men set up 4 dummy artillery to draw enemy fire and protect the 5 980th Field Artillery Battalion (VIII Corps) as part 6 of the Normandy Campaign; 7 (12) the rest of the soldiers of the 23d Head- 8 quarters Special Troops arrived in France in July 9 and August of 1944; 10 (13) full-scale deception efforts began with Op- 11 eration Elephant from July 1 to 4, 1944, in which 12 the 23d Headquarters Special Troops covered the 13 movement of the 2d Armored Division when it left 14 a reserve position to go into the line between the 15 First United States and Second British Armies; 16 (14) Operation Elephant was the first of the 21 17 full-scale tactical deceptions completed by the 23d 18 Headquarters Special Troops; 19 (15) often operating on or near the front lines, 20 the 23d Headquarters Special Troops used inflatable 21 tanks, artillery, airplanes and other vehicles, ad- 22 vanced engineered soundtracks, and skillfully crafted 23 radio trickery to create the illusion of sizable Amer- 24 ican forces where there were none and to draw the 25 enemy away from Allied troops; † S 1404 ES
5 1 (16) the 3132d and the 3133d Signal Service 2 Companies, activated in Pine Camp (now Fort 3 Drum), New York, at the Army Experimental Sta- 4 tion in March and June of 1944, respectively, were 5 the only ‘‘sonic deception’’ ground combat units of 6 the United States in World War II; 7 (17) soldiers of the 23d Headquarters Special 8 Troops impersonated other, larger Army units by 9 sewing counterfeit patches onto their uniforms, 10 painting false markings on their vehicles, and cre- 11 ating phony headquarters staffed by fake generals, 12 all in an effort to feed false information to Axis 13 spies; 14 (18) during the Battle of the Bulge, the 23d 15 Headquarters Special Troops created counterfeit 16 radio traffic in an effort to deceive the enemy of the 17 movement of elements of General George S. Patton’s 18 Third Army as it shifted to break through to the 19 101st Airborne Division and elements of 10th Ar- 20 mored Division in the besieged Belgian town of Bas- 21 togne; 22 (19) in its final mission, Operation Viersen, in 23 March 1945, the 23d Headquarters Special Troops 24 conducted a tactical deception operation intended to 25 draw German units down the Rhine River and away † S 1404 ES
6 1 from the Ninth Army, allowing the Ninth Army to 2 cross the Rhine into Germany; 3 (20) during Operation Viersen, the 23d Head- 4 quarters Special Troops, with the assistance of other 5 units, impersonated 2 complete divisions of Amer- 6 ican forces by using fabricated radio networks, 7 soundtracks of construction work and artillery fire, 8 and hundreds of inflatable and real vehicles; 9 (21) according to a military intelligence officer 10 of the 79th Infantry, ‘‘There is no doubt that Oper- 11 ation Viersen materially assisted in deceiving the 12 enemy with regard to the real dispositions and inten- 13 tions of this Army.’’; 14 (22) 3 soldiers of the 23d Headquarters Special 15 Troops gave their lives and dozens were injured in 16 carrying out their mission; 17 (23) in April 1945, the 3133d Signal Service 18 Company conducted Operation Craftsman in support 19 of Operation Second Wind, the successful Allied ef- 20 fort to break through the German defensive position 21 to the north of Florence, Italy, known as the Gothic 22 Line; 23 (24) along with an attached platoon of British 24 engineers, who were inflatable decoy specialists, the 25 3133d Signal Service Company used sonic deception † S 1404 ES
7 1 to misrepresent troop locations along this defensive 2 line; 3 (25) the activities of the 23d Headquarters 4 Special Troops and the 3133d Signal Service Com- 5 pany remained highly classified for more than 40 6 years after the war and received minimal recogni- 7 tion; 8 (26) the extraordinary accomplishments of this 9 unit are deserving of belated official recognition; and 10 (27) the United States is eternally grateful to 11 the soldiers of the 23d Headquarters Special Troops 12 and the 3133d Signal Service Company for their 13 proficient use of innovative tactics during World 14 War II, which saved lives and made significant con- 15 tributions to the defeat of the Axis powers. 16 SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL. 17 (a) AWARD AUTHORIZED.—The President Pro Tem- 18 pore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Rep- 19 resentatives shall make appropriate arrangements for the 20 award, on behalf of Congress, of a gold medal of appro- 21 priate design to the 23d Headquarters Special Troops and 22 the 3133d Signal Services Company, known collectively as 23 the ‘‘Ghost Army’’, in recognition of unique and highly 24 distinguished service during World War II. † S 1404 ES
8 1 (b) DESIGN AND STRIKING.—For the purposes of the 2 award referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the 3 Treasury (in this Act referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) shall 4 strike the gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and 5 inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary. 6 (c) SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.— 7 (1) IN GENERAL.—Following the award of the 8 gold medal under subsection (a), the gold medal 9 shall be given to the Smithsonian Institution, where 10 it shall be available for display as appropriate and 11 made available for research. 12 (2) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of 13 Congress that the Smithsonian Institution should 14 make the gold medal received under paragraph (1) 15 available for display elsewhere, particularly at other 16 locations associated with the 23d Headquarters Spe- 17 cial Troops and the 3133d Signal Services Company. 18 (d) DUPLICATE MEDALS.—The Secretary may strike 19 and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck 20 under this Act, at a price sufficient to cover the cost of 21 the medals, including labor, materials, dies, use of machin- 22 ery, and overhead expenses. † S 1404 ES
9 1 SEC. 4. STATUS OF MEDAL. 2 (a) NATIONAL MEDAL.—The medals struck under 3 this Act are national medals for the purposes of chapter 4 51 of title 31, Unites States Code. 5 (b) NUMISMATIC ITEMS.—For purpose of section 6 5134 of title 31, United States Code, all medals struck 7 under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items. 8 SEC. 5. AUTHORITY TO USE FUND AMOUNTS; PROCEEDS OF 9 SALE. 10 (a) AUTHORITY TO USE FUND AMOUNTS.—There is 11 authorized to be charged against the United States Mint 12 Public Enterprise Fund such amounts as may be nec- 13 essary to pay for the costs of the medals struck under 14 this Act. 15 (b) PROCEEDS OF SALE.—Amounts received from the 16 sale of duplicate bronze medals authorized under section 17 3(d) shall be deposited into the United States Mint Public 18 Enterprise Fund. 19 SEC. 6. DETERMINATION OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS. 20 The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purposes 21 of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 22 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest state- 23 ment titled ‘‘Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation’’ 24 for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional 25 Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, † S 1404 ES
10 1 provided that such statement has been submitted prior to 2 the vote on passage. Passed the Senate December 15, 2021. Attest: Secretary. † S 1404 ES

117TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S. 1404 AN ACT To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 23d Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133d Sig- nal Service Company, popularly known as the ‘‘Ghost Army’’, in recognition of their unique and highly distinguished service in conducting decep- tion operations in Europe during World War II.