- Associated Press - Sunday, May 3, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster is co-sponsoring a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II special troops known as the “Ghost Army.”

The Ghost Army - whose contributions remained classified for more than four decades - diverted enemy attention by deploying inflatable military vehicles and using radio trickery and other deceptive tactics. Their actions contributed to many Allied victories, including the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine River.

Kuster, a Democrat, is co-sponsoring the bill with Republic New York Rep. Peter King.

Among those who would be honored is the late Mickey McKane of Keene, who was a member of the Ghost Army.

His son, Keith McKane of Nelson, New Hampshire, said his family is deeply honored by the proposed legislation.

“We also wish to convey our heart-felt appreciation for all those working to honor this heroic unit through a Congressional Gold Medal,” McKane said.

The Ghost Army actively engaged in battlefield operations from June 1944 through March of 1945. Many of its members were recruited from art schools, advertising agencies, communications companies and other creative and technical professions. Mickey McKane was studying at the Pratt Institute of Fine Arts in Brooklyn when he was recruited to join the Ghost Army for his theatrical talents.

The Ghost Army soldiers took part in the D-Day landings and began their battlefield deceptive tactics one week later in Normandy.

“I am incredibly proud to sponsor this bipartisan bill, which would honor Granite Stater Mickey McKane and all the heroic members of the Ghost Army whose innovative tactics saved thousands of lives during humanity’s darkest hour,” said Kuster.

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