Guests on our recent Ghost Army Tour had the honor of attending the unveiling of a new Ghost Army historical marker in Luxembourg City on the morning of September 7.
The Ghost Army, officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, used inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio trickery and all sorts of illusion to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. They were based in Luxembourg for three months, with most of the soldiers staying in a Seminary building in the Limpertsberg neighborhood of Luxembourg City. The dedication ceremony was held outside the Seminary building, which is now part of the University of Luxembourg.
Two of the people on the tour, Dale Skuldt and Rob Dahl, are sons of Ghost Army veterans, which made the occasion even more special. Also attending the dedication ceremony was the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Tom Barrett; Luxembourg Minister of Finance Yuriko Backes; David Dominguez Muller, Secretary of the Limpertsberg History Friends; and Rick Beyer, President of the Ghost Army Legacy Project and the historian for the Ghost Army Tour.
Speaking at the unveiling, Tom Barrett said, “This monument dedicated to the Ghost Army is a permanent reminder of the courage and resilience of the American forces in pursuit of Luxembourg’s freedom and peace in Europe in World War II. We who still remember have a duty to ensure that generations after us also know that freedom has come at a price and must not be taken for granted.”
Dale Skuldt, whose father Harold Skuldt served in the unit, said that attending the dedication and meeting the U.S. Ambassador was special. “The trip was very meaningful to me in so many ways,” he added.
Someone else who attended the ceremony was 89-year-old Nettie Braun-Leppert, who as a nine-year old girl befriended Ghost Army veteran Harold Dahl. “He wrote home about sharing his food with her, how thin she was” said his son, Rob Dahl.
“The men of the Ghost Army were not textbook heroes, yet they served with ingenuity, courage, and honor,” said Rick Beyer. “They used creativity and illusion to save lives and shorten the war. That is why it is so important to remember them.”
The historical marker was erected with funds from the Walter Hines Page chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in London; The Limpertsberg History Friends, in Luxembourg City; and the U.S. embassy in Luxembourg.
This is the third Ghost Army historical marker that has been erected in Europe.