Beach Jumpers

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Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Hollywood actor and naval officer, was the "Father of the U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers".

Beach Jumpers were U.S. Navy special warfare units organized during World War II. The name came from their purpose to quickly hit enemy beaches and confuse the enemy with harassment and deception operations. Using specialized deception equipment, they aimed to make the enemy believe they were a large amphibious landing force, when in fact that force would be elsewhere, usually a great distance away.

They saw action during the invasion of Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. They continued to work successfully in the Mediterranean through the summer of 1944. Beach Jumper operations in the Pacific were less effective, but at least one diversion proved effective. Shortly after the end of World War II, all Beach Jumper Units were deactivated.

They were reactivated in 1951. Several Beach Jumper teams were active in the Vietnam War, responsible for tactical deception and for employing psychological operations (PSYOPS). The Beach Jumper name was retired in 1972, but other units continued with military deception operations.

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