“I’m deeply grateful that the Embassy is helping celebrate these creative soldiers whose deception missions saved lives and help defeat Hitler’s legions,” said Rick Beyer, president of the Ghost Army Legacy Project. The purpose of the grant, according to the U.S. Department of State, is “to strengthen U.S.-France relationship by highlighting shared WWII history in Brittany and common values to new generations.”
The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, nicknamed The Ghost Army, was a top-secret U.S. Army unit that used inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio subterfuge and illusion to deceive the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. Operation BREST was the unit’s first full-scale mission.
The commemoration includes design and fabrication of a dual-language historical marker in Plabennec, France (near Brest), plus a dedication ceremony, a documentary film screening hosted by producer Rick Beyer, a local exhibition at Musée Memoires 39-45, and publicity to engage French and global audiences. The U.S. Consulate for Western France, based in Rennes, will participate in these events.
Project partners include the commune of Plabennec and the Musée Memoires 39-45. Additional support comes from Massachusetts Society Children of the American Revolution and the Ghost Army Legacy Project. Paul Singer, son of Ghost Army veteran Arthur Singer, is designing the marker.
The Ghost Army Legacy Project installed the first-ever Ghost Army historical marker in Bettembourg, Luxembourg in 2018, with the support of the United States Embassy, Luxembourg.