Harper College to honor 98-year-old Schaumburg veteran of World War II 'Ghost Army'

  • Schaumburg resident Bernie Bluestein, 98, who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in February for his work on the U.S. Ghost Army of World War II, will be honored Saturday at Harper College in Palatine, where he's been an art student since 1989.

    Schaumburg resident Bernie Bluestein, 98, who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in February for his work on the U.S. Ghost Army of World War II, will be honored Saturday at Harper College in Palatine, where he's been an art student since 1989. Courtesy of GhostArmy.org

 
 
Posted7/14/2022 6:00 AM

Harper College in Palatine on Saturday will honor 98-year-old Bernie Bluestein of Schaumburg, who began taking art classes at the school in 1989 long after his skills had been put to strategic use in the legendary Ghost Army that fooled the Nazis during World War II.

Bluestein, who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in February, will be honored from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the college. Harper will highlight the Ghost Army Legacy Project and dedicate a classroom in Bluestein's honor.

 

The event also will feature the presentation of a copy of the signed Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act, a letter from President Joe Biden, letters from the U.S. House and Senate sponsors, and honors from Harper's board of trustees and Educational Foundation. Representatives of Congressional offices are expected to attend.

The Ghost Army's work wasn't declassified until 1996. But at the height of the war, Bluestein was one of about 1,100 soldiers who combined their artistic skills with a misinformation campaign to create the impression of a 30,000-strong battalion and its vehicles to distract the Germans from the real Allied companies crossing the Rhine River.

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