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WWII’s Ghost Army Revealed in Lexington

Learn about the American GIs who duped Hitler's army at next weekend’s one-day exhibit to benefit Lexington resident Rick Beyer's independent film honoring the brave and creative men behind the ‘Ghost Army.’

For the past seven years, Lexington filmmaker Rick Beyer has been working on a documentary film about a unit the Army called the 3rd Headquarters Special Troops, but which came to be known as the Ghost Army.

Next weekend, he’ll bring that story home for an exhibit/benefit at the to promote his independent documentary, “” and the accompanying book he co-authored with Elizabeth Sayles.

From 12 to 6 p.m., next Saturday, March 3, Beyer and video from the in-progress film with be at the Depot, along with original wartime artifacts and artworks by Ghost Army soldiers, including Arthur Singer and Arthur Shilstone. The unit also included fashion designer Bill Blass, painter Ellswroth Kelley and rock photog Art Kane. Admission is $5.

Beyer began work on the film following a meeting with Beverly resident Martha Galvin to learn about the wartime experiences of her uncle, Army Corporal John Jarvie, reports the Boston Globe. Jarvie served with the so-called Ghost Army, a force of more than 1,000 American GIs who used inflatable rubber tanks, fake communications and other modes of deception to carry out more than 20 clandestine ops designed to dupe Hitler’s army.

“Not only were these men brave enough to be operating right near the front lines with inflatable tanks, but they were creating this amazing art while they did it,” Beyer told the Globe. “The Army was using creativity to save lives, but the men were exercising their own creativity in this awful environment.”

The will include wartime artifacts, “Top Secret” military training footage and vivid color photos from the wartime collection of Ghost Army vet Bob Boyajian of Waltham. Also, WWII re-enactors will greet visitors to the exhibit and show off some of their equipment.

According to the Globe, Beyer has raised $158,521 for the documentary and figures he needs at least $30,000 more to finish the film, which he described as a “salute to all of the men involved” with the Ghost Army.

“They’re articulate, spirited, amazing guys, but people aren’t aware of them,” he told the Globe. “That’s one of the reasons this is so exciting for me.’’

For more information about the Ghost Army and Beyer's project, visit ghostarmy.org.

Gresh Lattimore February 25, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Is the Friday evening, March 2, opening ceremony still on? Who do we call for details?
Patrick Ball (Editor) February 25, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Hi Gresh, For more details, you may email exhibit@ghostarmy.org. While the Globe story includes the March 2 fundraiser, it's not mentioned on the town website or the Ghost Army website, and the Saturday event is posted as a "one-day exhibit" here on Patch.
Marilyn Rea Beyer February 25, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Hello, Gresh: The Friday, March 2, "gala" fundraiser is most certainly still on! We'll be showing the rough cut of the film. As Patrick notes, you can email exhibit@ghostarmy.org or call 781-801-3261. Tickets to the Friday evening event are $75/person. Checks made payable to Center for Independent documentary. Hope to hear from you! Best wishes, Rick & Marilyn Beyer

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