'I Faked Everything': WWII Vet, 98, Honored for Tricking Nazis with Illusions in 'Ghost Army'

·2 min read
WWII Vet, 98, Honored for Service in Special Unit That Created Elaborate Illusions to Trick Nazis
WWII Vet, 98, Honored for Service in Special Unit That Created Elaborate Illusions to Trick Nazis

facebook Manny Frockt (right) with Florida Congressman Brian Mast

It's never too late to celebrate America's heroes.

Manny Frockt, 98, was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal on Saturday for the U.S. Army veteran's role in deceiving the Nazis with illusions during World War II, ABC affiliate WPBF reported.

Frockt was a member of the "Ghost Army," a once-secret Army unit that used ruses — such as inflatable tanks, sound effects and even fake radio transmissions — to trick the Nazis and impede their military objectives.

"Their unit was intentionally placed to be observed as a real unit, to be observed as a real and viable threat meant to draw in the Axis attackers, and who was their backup to save them from incoming aircraft or from artillery fire or from snipers who would approach or from any other threat? It was selfless work," Florida Congressman Brian Mast, a military veteran, said during the ceremony, per WPBF.

"I'm proud to be a part of that very small portion of what we owe you, sir, and I couldn't be more proud that you'll be presented with the Congressional Gold Medal," Mast told Frockt.

RELATED: Veterans Return to Normandy on 78th Anniversary of D-Day and Remember Life-Changing Moments of WWII

Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Gregg Weiss also announced Saturday as "Manny Frockt Day" in the county, per WPBF.

"A big thank you to those who served, and we are blessed to have Manny Frockt in our community, one of 10 remaining survivors of this unit, and it's a pleasure to be with him today," he said.

It's estimated that Frockt and his unit helped save 15,000 to 30,000 American lives during the war thanks to their deceptions, NBC affiliate WPTV reported.

"I faked everything," Frockt said of their tactics. "We had fake airplanes, fake balloons. You name it, I did it."

RELATED: WWII Vet Who Escaped Nazis Finally Gets Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal Nearly 80 Years Later

The news station said there are only 10 surviving members of the Ghost Army left. The unit had more than 1,100 members during World War II.

In February, President Joe Biden signed a bill that awarded a Congressional Gold Medal to Ghost Army soldiers, CNN reported. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts was the bill's main sponsor.

"Through their courageous, creative, and innovative tactics, the top-secret Ghost Army outmaneuvered and deceived the Nazis, saving thousands of Allied lives during World War II," Markey said at the time, according to the outlet.

RELATED VIDEO: Veteran Reacts to Donation Raised for His Broken Scooter

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, provides a traveling exhibition of Ghost Army memorabilia.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will display that exhibit from June 2022 to January 2023, and the Nevada Museum of Art will host the items from March 2023 to July 2023.