Japan struck Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, right before the start of WWII and killed over 2,000 Americans. From that point on, the U.S. government knew that an attack on the mainland could happen soon. After similar strategies worked well in Great Britain, the US used a variety of decoy plans and methods to trick and confuse enemy forces.
The point of Operation Camouflage was to keep enemy forces and resources from going to places where military activities were happening. In the 21st century, it would be very hard to carry out this kind of strategy. There are problems now that weren’t there in WWII because of progress in aircraft and GPS technology. We will go back to a simpler but more war-torn time in 24/7 Wall St.’s used DeLorean DMC-12 to see the 5 most amazing fake towns the US used to win WWII.
March Field was the first U.S. fake city. It was in Southern California, just outside of Los Angeles. As the name suggests, a “decoy city” is a fake suburb or city that wasn’t really there and was only there to trick the military. These fake cities were amazing works of art and creativity. They were used to protect important military and industrial areas like airfields, aircraft factories, and munitions plants. Even though they wouldn’t have the same effect in today’s tech-savvy world, decoy towns were pretty new at the time they were built. These days, tools from The Sharper Image would be more than enough to figure out the trick.
Douglas Aircraft Bomber Factory
The creative genius that made these fake towns is one of the most interesting things about them. The famous landscape planner Edward Huntsman-Trout and the architect H.Roy Kelley, who is known as the founder of the ranch-style home, planned the fake city on top of the Douglas bomber factory in Santa Monica.
Huntsman-Trout was 2 meters (6 feet 8 inches) tall, which was a lot taller than the buildings Kelley planned to cover the Santa Monica plant that made C-47 transports and A-20 attack planes. The roof of the building was made of burlap, which was held up by a new tension compression device. The cover was made to look like an area in the suburbs. A copy of the plant was built next to this “neighborhood.”
Wonderland, which was built on top of the Boeing plant in Seattle, Washington, had lawns made of burlap and canvas and trees made of spun glass and feathers. It was one of the easiest decoy cities to use during the war. The town on top of the Boeing plant was a huge success.
It was planned by G.W. Dennis and built by John Stewart Detlie, who would go on to become a famous architect. The big bomber Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, which had four engines, was made at Plant 2. During WWII, the B-17 dropped more bombs than any other American plane. Why did the war end the way it did? Because the factory had been struck.
Lockheed Air Terminal
Another thing Colonel Ohmer did well was build the Lockheed Air Terminal. Ohmer used methods that were similar to those used at March Field. A suburban neighborhood was next to a peaceful rural area with a farm full of animals and a silo. The neighborhood looked like it was going about its daily business, with fake cars and clotheslines full of drying clothes.
To help with the trick, Lockheed workers would live in the town and use reinforced catwalks to move cars and farm animals around and take out and put away dry laundry. copy of the airport building A copy of the airport building was built in a nearby field to make any would-be bombers even more confused.
Elko Tract was a fake city on the East Coast. It was 17 miles (27.3 km) southeast of Richmond, Virginia. During the war, Elko Tract would get bright at the same time that Richmond went dark. The 2,200-acre (890-hectare) area is now mostly used as a fake ghost town. The land has been empty since plans for a mental hospital fell through soon after the war.