The Ghost Army was a secret WWII tactical deception unit whose mission was to impersonate other U.S. Army units and deceive the enemy. These unlikely soldiers were artists, architects, actors, set designers and engineers.
New City resident, Ned Harris, who recently passed away, was a member of this unit. Mr. Harris studied art at the Pratt Institute in New York City before joining the Army. He was an assistant truck driver in the Ghost Army and found a German grenade case that he used as a receptacle for all his art materials: paper, ink, paints, and whatever he found as he went along. After the war, Harris became a photographer and designer, and became a co-owner of New York design firm Wallack and Harris. Ned Harris was the author of the book Form and Texture, a photographic portfolio. Up until the last year or so, Ned Harris kept busy curating various photography exhibits and experimented with a digital scanner to create his own unusual artworks. He was awarded a Purple Heart and was interviewed in the PBS documentary “The Ghost Army” and is the subject of the documentary “Ned Harris: An Eye for Chance.”
The members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used visual deception (placing inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks and airplanes so enemy air reconnaissance could see them), sonic deception (playing armored and infantry units sound effects of on powerful amplifiers and speakers that could be heard 15 miles away) and “spoof radio” where members from this special unit impersonated radio operators from other units.
These troops took part in 21 operations with mixed results. Their deception is credited with one major success, Operation Viersen, when the Americans were crossing the Rhine. The Ghost Army remained a secret until 1996.
Food for Thought: Nature’s New Deal, Thur at 7p
Natures’ New Deal: The Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt in New York’s Hudson Valley
Neil M. Maher was born and raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he still lives, and received his Ph.D. in history from New York University. His first book, Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement, was published by Oxford University Press in 2008 and won the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for the best monograph in conservation history. He is currently completing a second book project, tentatively titled Ground Control: How Apollo Scrubbed the Age of Aquarius, which examines how efforts to put humans on the Moon influenced the social and political struggles of the 1960s, including those of the civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, environmental, women’s, and counterculture movements. Maher is an associate professor in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University at Newark, where he teaches the environmental and political history of the United States. Registration is required
Carnegie Concert Series: Rockland Camerata, Sun at 2p
An ensemble of approximately 40 voices, the Rockland Camerata strives to provide audiences with a luscious variety of both sacred and secular music. Music Director and Conductor Matthew Rupcich leads the Camerata in performing the music of Brahms, including the Liebeslieder Waltzes, along with the music of other composers. A $10 suggested donation is requested at the door for the Friends of The Nyack Library benefiting the Carnegie Concert Series. Registration is required.
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