March 21st, 2022 – Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and Navy Veteran Councilman John C. Cochrane, Jr. paid tribute to 99-year-old WWII Veteran Nicholas Leo. Pvt. Leo joined the United States Army at 19 years old as a member of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troop.
During World War II, in the European Theatre of Operations, the American GIs of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133 Signal Service Company, better known as The Ghost Army, wielded creativity and illusion to fool the German Army on the battlefields of Europe. Through their ingenious plans of employing inflatable tanks and artillery, radio deception, sound equipment, and impersonation, Ghost Army soldiers contrived to confound Hitler’s legions about where actual Allied fighting units were; carrying out more than 20 top-secret deception missions, risking their lives to divert enemy attention from real operations and save thousands of lives.
Veteran Nicholas Leo served as a private in the Signal Company Special, the radio deception arm of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. He and his fellow radio deceivers established phony radio networks and transmitted fake messages to fool the Germans.
Congress has honored Nicholas “Nick” Leo and his fellow comrades-in-arms by awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to these units, collectively known as The Ghost Army, for their “unique and highly distinguished service during World War II.”
Pvt. Nicholas Leo, while stationed in France during the war met his beloved wife Pierrette, upon returning to the States became a proud father, esteemed grandfather and revered great grandfather.