In 1941, the U.S. began to form a hand-picked army to fight in Europe; its troops were composed of artists, designers, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army. Their props were inflatable tanks and pyrotechnics; their tools camouflage, “spoof” radio plays, special effects, and sonic deception. Their last “disappearing act” was to vanish from history. Officially they were the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops.
Bedtime Fright: Stilt walker and clown Poodles Sloane, who appears in Tom Arnold's Harringay circus in London, failing to frighten his sister Phipps with a giant skeleton head, 1955. Photo by Edward Tracey. °