Author Archive: Editor

Carl Kurfess’ Trivia

The Ghost Army of WWII 

Carl Kurfess’ Trivia

In spring of 1944, Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower gave General George Patton a mighty army to spearhead the Invasion of France. The First U.S. Army group consisted of eleven divisions assembled near the White Cliffs of Dover, readying to cross the English Channel at its narrowest point and invade France at Pas-de-Calais. But this was not a real army – it was a giant con job. 

The allies wanted to convince Hitler that the planned invasion at Normandy was just a diversion that the real invasion, under General Patton, would be at Pas-de-Calais. 

Carl Kurfess’ Trivia

The Ghost Army was an Allied Army tactical deception unit during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (operation quicksilver). 

Set designers from London’s Shepperton Studios were brought in to create the illusion of a massed army where there was none. They created battalions of rubber tanks, and regiments of wooden soldiers. Canvas airplanes were parked on fake runways, harbors were filled with dummy landing craft. Radio operators sent huge amounts of bogus traffic, orders to and from units that did not exist. Soldiers wore fake unit patches and drove about England simulating units that did not exist. 

Sound effects of actual units were recorded and played elsewhere, simulating units that were never there. Trucks would be driven in looping convoys with just two troops in the seats near the rear, to simulate a truck full of infantry under the canvas cover. “MP’s” (Military Police) would be deployed at cross roads wearing appropriate divisional insignia and some officers would simulate divisional generals and staff officers visiting towns where enemy agents were likely to see them. A few actual tanks and artillery pieces were occasionally assigned to the unit to make the “dummies” in the distance appear more realistic. 

The deceptions fooled Hitler completely. Even after the Normandy beachhead on June 6, the Germans held their Panzer divisions in reserve waiting for the real invasion elsewhere. 

Works cited
 Beyer, Rick. The Greatest War Stories never told; 100 tales from military history to astonish, bewilder, & stupefy. New York: HarperCollins: 2005. Print. 

July 4th Parade?

The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce announced that it will attempt to return the Edmonds Kind of 4th parade on Independence Day, based on sufficient participants and volunteers stepping up, as well as the necessary parade permit from the City of Edmonds. Start time is expected to be 12:00 noon. The Post is planning to participate as usual and we will assemble on 6th Avenue in front of the Legion Hall. Stay tuned for confirming emails with additional details. 

2018 Parade photos courtesy Edmond Beacon

June Post Meeting

On the usual third Wednesday evening, approximately ten of our members, plus distinguished guests, Past District 1 Commander Otis Wolfe and Elmer Johnson of Everett Post 2100, gathered at the Legion Hall for our monthly post meeting. Another half dozen members joined us in the Zoom format. We sincerely hope that more of our members will feel comfortable with returning soon, as we all get vaccinated. 

The main event of the evening was the installation of our new officers for VFW year 2021-22, who officially take office at the Department convention in late June. Past Commander Wolfe performed the installation. 

Your new officers : 
Commander: Carl Kurfess 
Sr. Vice : Duane Bowman 
Jr. Vice: Rose Gilliland 
Quartermaster: Dennis Peterson 
Chaplain: Dan Doyle 
1st Year Trustee: Kerry Watkins 
2nd Year Trustee: Donald Stapleton 
3rd Year Trustee: Mike Denton 
Adjutant: Nathan Wortinger 
Service Officer: Alden Gilliland 
Surgeon: (open) 
Judge Advocate: Jim Traner 
Guard: John Shelton 

New members joining 

Membership Chair Jim Traner announced four new members joining the Post, who we hope to have present for installation and introductions at the June and July meetings. They are John Nederlee, P. Philips (transferred from another post), Navy Korean War vet Richard Warbrouck and Retired Army Major Kacey Tourine. 

Memorial Day 2021

Abbreviated Poppy Drive – Dedication at The Plaza 

Memorial Day 2021

Once again Memorial Day was not quite our expected event. The Edmonds Cemetery Board conducted a drive through event and handed out poppies to those in attendance, during which they collected $ 140 for our Relief Fund. Many thanks to our friends on the Cemetery Board. 

In the afternoon of Memorial Day, the post held a brief ceremony at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, attended mostly by members and their families The primary purpose was to dedicate a new group of memorial pavers to be installed near the information Kiosk at the southeast corner of the Plaza. (The City has yet to actually install these pavers due to COVID staffing issues) 

Memorial Day 2021

Colors were held, of course, and Chaplain Dan Doyle, after an introduction by Jim Traner, delivered a brief speech honoring our fallen comrades. 

Many thanks to Buglers Chris Edwards and Debbie Dawson for once again providing their excellent “echo” rendition of Taps, always a moving experience. 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Kiosk

Posting Details for Your Memorial Items 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Kiosk


You are reminded that The Edmonds Veterans Plaza kiosk is now loaded with the veterans’ basic information excerpted from the memorialized pavers and benches. Some of the veterans dedicated also have provided additional information and photos. You can go to the plaza and check to see if you, your friend or family member is showing up. The Memorial ID and the map on the screen can help users to locate their pavers, etc. 

The team will continue the effort to add more information and edit if needed. Please see the online version of the kiosk here (In other words, you can do the checking from your home remotely, too!): edmonds/ 

You are welcome to fill out one of the forms below. Or send the veterans’ information and photos to Also use the same email to correct the existing information on the kiosk. See the form below for what types of information we can use. Although ideal, it doesn’t have to be complete. 

Please select one of the Forms below and use its link. 

Form A: For those who have a Google account**. Only Google account holder can upload photos directly from the form. Prepare the photos (Read Photo Specification*) and start the form below. —> 

Form B: For those who do not or wish to have a Google account. We will send a separate email requesting photos later. Please go ahead and fill the form below. —> 

* Either way, you will be requested (but not required) to provide up to 2 photos. *Photo specification: Ideally optimized for 400w X 500h in pixels at 72 DPI and JPG (.jpg) format is preferred (up to 10 MB per photo in size allowed). You may want to start preparing them before you start filling the form. If you do not know how to do these, do not worry but go ahead and upload photos as they are. 

** To create free Google account: (If you use Gmail or Google Calendar, you already have a Google account.) You can create it by visiting:



Jr. Vice Commander Duane Bowman, our poppy chair, arranged for a booth at the Edmonds Saturday Market on May 29 and with the assistance of Phil Sacks, Mike Denton, Dan Doyle, Carl Kurfess and Les Abel, collected $1395 while distributing poppies. Another $275 came in through our online donation page to ad a total of over $1600 to our to the Relief Fund for the five hour effort. 

Bowman has already been in touch with our usual grocery store locations for Veterans Day Poppy distribution, so we have high hopes of returning to our usual major fund raising effort in the fall of this year. Put it on your calendar. 


Military Trivia

(in this case, Naval) 
by Carl Kurfess 

Military Trivia

Make a pass 

Flirtatious advance. 

When naval ships-of-the-line were sizing each other up they would quite often make a side-on pass, each wishing to size up the opposition. When the expression came ashore, it was used as a tentative approach to a member of the opposite sex to gauge the likely outcome of closer engagement. 

(For you detail sensitive types, the two ships at left would actually appear to be Frigates, smaller than Ships of the line. Your friendly sailor editor) 

Steer Clear of VA ‘Claim Sharks’

(from VFW Membership Dispatch) 

As the presence of unaccredited VA disability claim representatives continues to rise, the VFW wants to make sure veterans and dependents know their options when it comes to applying for earned VA benefits and disability compensation. Follow this link: to Find out how to protect yourself and veterans you know during the claims process.                          

Memorial Day Observance Slated

Memorial Day Observance Slated

Our usual Memorial Day observance at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery will not be held this year because of COVID crowding concerns, but VFW Post 8870, with American Legion Post 66 will conduct a small Memorial Day Ceremony at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 31. We will be recognizing the installation of sixteen new veterans’ pavers at the ceremony, perhaps including yours. Due to COVID restrictions, we are not advertising the ceremony to the general public, but only inviting our membership, friends and families. There will be a VFW honor guard and our Post Chaplain, Vietnam veteran Navy Corpsman Dan Doyle, who served with the Marines at the siege of Khe Sanh in 1968, will be our speaker. The ceremony will conclude with the playing of taps. 

The Edmonds Veterans plaza is located at 5th Ave. N. and Bell St, adjacent to the Edmonds Public Safety building. 

Post 8870 Announces 2021 Scholarship Winners

VFW Post 8870 awards scholarships annually to deserving local high school graduates. This spring, we are pleased to announce four winners of $ 1,500 scholarships, representing the four high schools in the Edmonds and Mukilteo School districts located in our Post service area. All are the children, or grandchildren of veterans or serving members of the armed forces. Applications are made available in the fall of each school year through the high school counseling offices. Winners were selected from among a group of 15 applicants, based on grades, demonstrated leadership, a record of community service and a 3-500 word essay on the topics “What freedom means to me” and “How our Constitution establishes and maintains a culture of freedom”. 

These scholarships are funded by donations received during our semi-annual distribution of “Buddy Poppies” at local stores around Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year. Generous donations received from friends of the Post in the absence of that activity during this past COVID year made up for much of the loss from cancellation of those events and allowed continued funding of scholarships and our other activities in support of veterans and our community. 

Congratulations to these four students!