Gilbert Seltzer, Soldier in the World War II ‘Ghost Army,’ Dies at 106


In Mr. Beyer’s documentary, Mr. Seltzer recalled his early response to being informed that the goal of the twenty third’s preparations was to have the enemy fireplace at him and his fellow troopers.

“We came to the conclusion,” he stated, “that this was a suicide outfit.”

Mr. Beyer stated that three members of the Ghost Army have been killed and about 30 wounded. He advised two causes for the comparatively small variety of casualties: The unit projected nice pressure by means of its deceptions, probably repelling the enemy; and the troopers weren’t all the time at the entrance, which minimized their vulnerability.

Credit…by way of Seltzer household

After the battle, Mr. Seltzer returned to structure. Over the years he designed the Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, N.Y. (now the Adirondack Bank Center), which is famend for its cable-suspended roof system; buildings at West Point and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; and the East Coast Memorial in Battery Park, in Lower Manhattan, which honors troopers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, service provider mariners and airmen who died in battle in the Atlantic throughout World War II. He continued to work till January 2020.

In addition to his son, Mr. Seltzer is survived by two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His spouse, Molly (Gold) Seltzer, died in 1994.

One evening in July 1944, troopers of the 603rd have been on a farm in Normandy, the place they moved an antiaircraft battery and changed it with a rubber one, a part of an operation to cowl the motion of the Second Armored Division with dummy tanks and weapons to idiot the Germans into considering the division had not left.

The farmer, who was indignant about the noise that had been made by the actual weapons, approached the troopers and stated, “Encore boom boom?” banging his fist on a gun, not understanding it was a faux.

“His hand bounced up and down and he said, ‘Boom boom ha ha,’” Mr. Seltzer informed Mr. Beyer in the interview filmed for the documentary however not used. “That became a byword in the 603rd.”