[117th Congress Public Law 85]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 136 STAT. 11]]

Public Law 117-85
117th Congress

                                 An Act

  To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 23d Headquarters Special 
  Troops and the 3133d Signal Service Company, popularly known as the 
``Ghost Army'', in recognition of their unique and highly distinguished 
 service in conducting deception operations in Europe during World War 
                II. <<NOTE: Feb. 1, 2022 -  [S. 1404]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Ghost Army 
Congressional Gold Medal Act. 31 USC 5111 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal 

    Congress finds that--
            (1) the 23d Headquarters Special Troops (comprised of the 
        23d Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops, the 
        603d Engineer Camouflage Battalion, the 406th Combat Engineer 
        Company, the 3132d Signal Service Company, and the Signal 
        Company, Special, 23d Headquarters, Special Troops) and the 
        3133d Signal Service Company were units of the United States 
        Army that served in Europe during World War II;
            (2) the 23d Headquarters Special Troops was actively engaged 
        in battlefield operations from June of 1944 through March of 
            (3) the 3133d Signal Service Company was engaged in 
        operations in Italy in 1945;
            (4) the deceptive activities of these units were integral to 
        several Allied victories across Europe and reduced casualties;
            (5) in evaluating the performance of these units after World 
        War II, an Army analysis found that ``Rarely, if ever, has there 
        been a group of such a few men which had so great an influence 
        on the outcome of a major military campaign.'';
            (6) many Ghost Army soldiers were citizen-soldiers recruited 
        from art schools, advertising agencies, communications 
        companies, and other creative and technical professions;
            (7) the first 4 members of the 23d Headquarters Special 
        Troops landed on D-Day and 2 became casualties while creating 
        false beach landing sites;
            (8) <<NOTE: Fred Fox.>>  a detachment of Army radio 
        operators under the command of Lieutenant Fred Fox joined the 
        invasion fleet for a planned deception, Operation Troutfly, 
        which was cancelled;
            (9) Lieutenant Fox's men and their radios were instead 
        attached to the 82d Airborne, which had lost 95 percent of

[[Page 136 STAT. 12]]

        its radio equipment, providing critical communications as the 
        82d Airborne fought its way inland;
            (10) <<NOTE: Bernard Mason.>>  the secret deception 
        operations of the 23d Headquarters Special Troops commenced in 
        France on June 14, 1944, when Task Force Mason, a 16-man 
        detachment of the 23d led by First Lieutenant Bernard Mason, 
        arrived in Normandy;
            (11) Lieutenant Mason and his men set up dummy artillery to 
        draw enemy fire and protect the 980th Field Artillery Battalion 
        (VIII Corps) as part of the Normandy Campaign;
            (12) the rest of the soldiers of the 23d Headquarters 
        Special Troops arrived in France in July and August of 1944;
            (13) full-scale deception efforts began with Operation 
        Elephant from July 1 to 4, 1944, in which the 23d Headquarters 
        Special Troops covered the movement of the 2d Armored Division 
        when it left a reserve position to go into the line between the 
        First United States and Second British Armies;
            (14) Operation Elephant was the first of the 21 full-scale 
        tactical deceptions completed by the 23d Headquarters Special 
            (15) often operating on or near the front lines, the 23d 
        Headquarters Special Troops used inflatable tanks, artillery, 
        airplanes and other vehicles, advanced engineered soundtracks, 
        and skillfully crafted radio trickery to create the illusion of 
        sizable American forces where there were none and to draw the 
        enemy away from Allied troops;
            (16) the 3132d and the 3133d Signal Service Companies, 
        activated in Pine Camp (now Fort Drum), New York, at the Army 
        Experimental Station in March and June of 1944, respectively, 
        were the only ``sonic deception'' ground combat units of the 
        United States in World War II;
            (17) soldiers of the 23d Headquarters Special Troops 
        impersonated other, larger Army units by sewing counterfeit 
        patches onto their uniforms, painting false markings on their 
        vehicles, and creating phony headquarters staffed by fake 
        generals, all in an effort to feed false information to Axis 
            (18) during the Battle of the Bulge, the 23d Headquarters 
        Special Troops created counterfeit radio traffic in an effort to 
        deceive the enemy of the movement of elements of General George 
        S. Patton's Third Army as it shifted to break through to the 
        101st Airborne Division and elements of 10th Armored Division in 
        the besieged Belgian town of Bastogne;
            (19) in its final mission, Operation Viersen, in March 1945, 
        the 23d Headquarters Special Troops conducted a tactical 
        deception operation intended to draw German units down the Rhine 
        River and away from the Ninth Army, allowing the Ninth Army to 
        cross the Rhine into Germany;
            (20) during Operation Viersen, the 23d Headquarters Special 
        Troops, with the assistance of other units, impersonated 2 
        complete divisions of American forces by using fabricated radio 
        networks, soundtracks of construction work and artillery fire, 
        and hundreds of inflatable and real vehicles;
            (21) according to a military intelligence officer of the 
        79th Infantry, ``There is no doubt that Operation Viersen 
        materially assisted in deceiving the enemy with regard to the 
        real dispositions and intentions of this Army.'';

[[Page 136 STAT. 13]]

            (22) 3 soldiers of the 23d Headquarters Special Troops gave 
        their lives and dozens were injured in carrying out their 
            (23) in April 1945, the 3133d Signal Service Company 
        conducted Operation Craftsman in support of Operation Second 
        Wind, the successful Allied effort to break through the German 
        defensive position to the north of Florence, Italy, known as the 
        Gothic Line;
            (24) along with an attached platoon of British engineers, 
        who were inflatable decoy specialists, the 3133d Signal Service 
        Company used sonic deception to misrepresent troop locations 
        along this defensive line;
            (25) the activities of the 23d Headquarters Special Troops 
        and the 3133d Signal Service Company remained highly classified 
        for more than 40 years after the war and received minimal 
            (26) the extraordinary accomplishments of this unit are 
        deserving of belated official recognition; and
            (27) the United States is eternally grateful to the soldiers 
        of the 23d Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133d Signal 
        Service Company for their proficient use of innovative tactics 
        during World War II, which saved lives and made significant 
        contributions to the defeat of the Axis powers.

    (a) Award Authorized.--The President Pro Tempore of the Senate and 
the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall make appropriate 
arrangements for the award, on behalf of Congress, of a gold medal of 
appropriate design to the 23d Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133d 
Signal Services Company, known collectively as the ``Ghost Army'', in 
recognition of unique and highly distinguished service during World War 
    (b) Design and Striking.--For the purposes of the award referred to 
in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (in this Act referred 
to as the ``Secretary'') shall strike the gold medal with suitable 
emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
    (c) Smithsonian Institution.--
            (1) In general.--Following the award of the gold medal under 
        subsection (a), the gold medal shall be given to the Smithsonian 
        Institution, where it shall be available for display as 
        appropriate and made available for research.
            (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
        Smithsonian Institution should make the gold medal received 
        under paragraph (1) available for display elsewhere, 
        particularly at other locations associated with the 23d 
        Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133d Signal Services 

    (d) Duplicate Medals.--The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates 
in bronze of the gold medal struck under this Act, at a price sufficient 
to cover the cost of the medals, including labor, materials, dies, use 
of machinery, and overhead expenses.

    (a) National Medal.--The medals struck under this Act are national 
medals for the purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, Unites States Code.

[[Page 136 STAT. 14]]

    (b) Numismatic Items.--For purpose of section 5134 of title 31, 
United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be considered 
to be numismatic items.

    (a) Authority to Use Fund Amounts.--There is authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such 
amounts as may be necessary to pay for the costs of the medals struck 
under this Act.
    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals authorized under section 3(d) shall be deposited into the 
United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.

    The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purposes of complying 
with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by 
reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO 
Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional 
Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such 
statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

    Approved February 1, 2022.


                                                        Vol. 167 (2021):
                                    Dec. 15, considered and passed 
                                                        Vol. 168 (2022):
                                    Jan. 19, considered and passed