NextGov: During World War II, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops achieved elite force status. But its members weren’t recruited for their combat skills. Instead, they came from art schools and ad agencies. They were inventive talents who specialized in “tactical deception”—inflatable tanks, rubber airplanes, convincing costumes and bogus radio codes designed to foot the opposition into believing they were all real.
An estimated 1,100 men took part in the effort, which resulted in more than 20 staged battlefield deceptions from 1944 to 1945, creating chaos and confusion for the enemy.