Great article in the venerable Jewish magazine "The Forward" about Ghost Army pals Seymour Nussenbaum and Bernie Bluestein.
The US Post Office has announced that it is bringing out ten new stamps honoring artist and former Ghost Army soldier Ellsworth Kelly later this year. The stamps feature ten Kelly paintings ranging from 1951 to 1971. "Kelly pioneered a distinctive style of abstraction based on real elements reduced to their essential forms" says the Post Office in its announcement.
Of course the famous minimalist isn't the first Ghost Army artist to be featured on USPS stamps. Arthur Singer (with son Alan) did the artwork for the famous Birds and Flowers of the 50 States stamps introduced in 1982, and George Vander Sluis designed an iconic airmail stamp brought out in 1971. Kelly, however, is the first Ghost Army artist to be honored by name in a series of postal stamps - quite a tribute! US Postal Service #WWII
This first day cover of Vnder Sluis's air mail stamp, signed by the artist, is part of the Ghost Army Legacy Project collection.
Birds and Flowers of the 50 States - 1982
The Ghost Army and Chicago veteran Bernie Bluestein were featured in multiple media stories in Chicago this Veterans Day weekend. Here are links:
WLS TV: Ghost Army: Bernie Bluestein, of the Chicago area, 95, reflects on time in top-secret unit during WW II
Chicago Tribune: "A top secret 'Ghost Army' of artist-soldiers fooled Hitler’s troops. One of its last members is living a quiet life in Schaumburg"
The first ever Ghost Army historical marker was dedicated September 26, 2018, in Bettembourg, Luxembourg. The marker stands on the exact spot where the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops carried out Operation BETTEMBOURG, one of their longest and most important operations.
The marker was unveiled by 95 year old Ghost Army veteran Bernie Bluestein, and Laurent Zeimet, mayor of Bettembourg.
The Ghost Army Legacy Project erected the marker with the help of grants from the US Embassy to Luxembourg and the PSYOP Regimental Association, as well as the assistance of the Commune of Bettembourg.
“We are grateful to these organizations,” said Rick Beyer, President of the Ghost Army Legacy Project, “for enthusiastically stepping forward to help preserve the legacy of this remarkable unit. We could not be doing this without their support."
The historical marker was designed by Paul Singer, whose father, Arthur Singer, was one of the soldiers in the Ghost Army. It commemorates a mission carried out in September, 1944. For more than a week, the 23rd helped defend a dangerously undermanned section of the Third Army’s front line, stretching more than twenty miles. Ghost Army Operations Officer Col. Clifford Simenson considered it a turning point for the unit: “It was our first operation that was executed fully professionally and correctly.”
"The embassy is proud to support this historical marker" said U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg J. Randloph Evans. "With this marker, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops will never be forgotten. I look forward to the dedication."
The Arizona legislature has passed a concurrent resolution asking Congress award a Congressional Gold Medal to the members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops The resolution, HCM2008, was introduced by State Representative Richard Andrade.
Three Arizonians Albert Files, Glenn Uhles and Harold Laynor served in this unique unit.
Legislation is now pending in the US House (HR 2701) and US Senate (S 1256) to award this unit, and a sister unit that operated in Italy, a Congressional Gold Medal. The resolution passed by the Arizona House and Senate urges the state’s Congressional Delegation to support this bill.
We are very excited that the Arizona has become the first state legislature to go on record supporting the Ghost Army Gold Medal bill. We hope it will help convince Arizona's congressional delegation to get on board and support this effort!