I hope you're all having a terrific week! On Monday, I took part in a fantastic screening of "The Ghost Army" in Keene, where we learned about the inspiring story of one of the most influential and top-secret units that fought in World War II, and about the courageous Granite Stater who took part in the unit's efforts. I'd like to share the story of the Ghost Army and that brave Granite Stater, Mickey McKane, with you:
Officially the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the Ghost Army was a covert unit made up of individuals you wouldn't normally expect to find on the battlefield: artists, designers, actors, and costumers. The unit included Irving "Mickey" McKane of Keene, who was studying architectural drafting and stage, industrial, and costume design before he joined the Ghost Army. During World War II, these men were tasked with misleading enemy forces by using the tricks of their trades to pull off an elaborate series of theatrics, illusions, and deceptive maneuvers. These brave and brilliant men used everything from inflatable tanks to sound effects to deceive the enemy all across Europe. Their innovative tactics helped lead to victories at the Battle of the Bulge, the crossing of the Rhine River, and many others. However, because these operations were top secret, none of these courageous soldiers received the recognition they deserved until decades later.
Mickey McKane of Keene during World War II
I am deeply proud to be part of the fight to bring their story to the American public, and to honor a New Hampshire native for his heroic actions. In fact, I recently introduced legislation to honor the members of the Ghost Army, including Mickey McKane, with a Congressional Gold Medal for their extraordinary courage. And in 2013, Rick Beyer's award-winning documentary "The Ghost Army" was released by PBS to great acclaim. The film brings the remarkable story of this brave and highly creative unit vividly to life, and it was wonderful to share it with so many people on Monday evening. Hosted by the Historical Society of Cheshire County, this screening brought together 130 people from around the Monadnock region, including two of Mickey's sons and several other members of the McKane family.
"The Ghost Army" screening in Keene
Stay tuned for future screenings and updates on my bill in Congress! These valorous men deserve to be remembered, and I look forward to continuing to tell their story far and wide. Have a great weekend!