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Fake rooftop town built to hide Boeing factory from Japanese Login/Join 
Serenity now!
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I never knew this!

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quote:
During World War 2, one B-17 Bomber cost a little over $200,000 to produce. That’s about $3,4 million in today’s economy. And since the US Army requested thousands of these planes, they wanted to take every measure when securing the Boeing factory that produced them. And by “every measure” I mean hiring Hollywood set designers to build a fake neighborhood atop it and getting actors to inhabit the area.

Protecting it from potential air strikes, the “neighborhood” was constructed in 1944 and removed a year after the war. John Stewart Detlie was the Hollywood set designer who helped to hide the Boeing Plant No. 2. Using the same techniques as in the movies, fake streets, sidewalks, trees, fences, cars, and houses were set in place to fool the would-be attackers.

Underneath it, 30,000 men and women were constructing about 300 bombers per month to support the fight against Nazis. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses dropped over 640,000 tons of bombs over Germany alone during the conflict, and of the 12,731 aircraft built, about fifty remain in complete form.

In the 1960s, the first Boeing 737s were assembled in Plant 2, but finished in the neighboring Thompson Site where the production of the 737 was eventually moved to. In the 1980s, the site was used as a machine shop but that discontinued as work shifted to more modern facilities. Ultimately, the structure fell into decay and in 2010, Boeing began the demolition of the plant.







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Posts: 4019 | Location: Lehi, UT | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Security Sage
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I never knew this. My dad was a riveter at Plant 2.



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Posts: 6714 | Location: Michiana | Registered: March 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jazz Hands Ninja
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Never knew that. This is so cool!





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Posts: 2998 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Thank you for a tidbit of WW II history I was not aware of.

Things like that are a reminder of how serious the Japanese threat was viewed during the war. Today most people are completely ignorant of such things. If they know anything at all, it’s how the Americans of Japanese descent were mistreated, but have no knowledge of the very real fears that led to that program.

I just finished reading the book Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy. One of the stories that struck me was about one of the women who was involved in breaking the Japanese naval codes. Years later she told a woman of a later generation about one particularly successful effort that led to the sinking of a Japanese shipping convoy. The younger woman’s response was shock and criticism of the fact that Japanese sailors had been killed as a result.




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How'd you like to be working in the building next door?

"Oh so when they come, WE get bombed!?"


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Posts: 16009 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don’t recall reading about any Japanese recon flights or bombing flights over CONUS.

A bunch of balloons were launched carrying incendiary devices some of which apparently made it to the mainland and started a few fires.




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Posts: 47813 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
I don’t recall reading about any Japanese recon flights or bombing flights over CONUS.

A bunch of balloons were launched carrying incendiary devices some of which apparently made it to the mainland and started a few fires.


There was planning of various bits, but too little, too late. The bio attack on San Diego would have been particularly bad.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...#Operational_history


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Posts: 1630 | Location: Roswell, GA | Registered: March 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very cool.

Reminds me of all the rubber blow-up tanks and trucks they had to fool the Germans and the troops wearing patches of “ghost divisions” who were sent to pubs and other public places in England for the German spies to observe and report on.


 
Posts: 23599 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted March 13, 2018 09:10 PM Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
I don’t recall reading about any Japanese recon flights or bombing flights over CONUS.
A bunch of balloons were launched carrying incendiary devices some of which apparently made it to the mainland and started a few fires.

One of those balloons actually landed in a farmers field in Timnath CO. I just moved to this town 6 months ago and learned about that.

I always enjoy learning new things about WW2. Thanks for the information on the Boeing plants.
 
Posts: 1250 | Location: Colorado | Registered: May 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Old Air Cavalryman
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quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
I don’t recall reading about any Japanese recon flights or bombing flights over CONUS.

A bunch of balloons were launched carrying incendiary devices some of which apparently made it to the mainland and started a few fires.


Japanese submarines bombarded a couple of locations along our west coast and a sub launched sea plane actually dropped some incendiary bombs over Oregon:


https://www.history.com/news/h...-during-world-war-ii

I had a relative who worked at the Boeing plant during the war and mentioned the factory story to me, which I later read about in a book about Boeing.




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Posts: 6871 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ARMT Guy:
quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
I don’t recall reading about any Japanese recon flights or bombing flights over CONUS.

A bunch of balloons were launched carrying incendiary devices some of which apparently made it to the mainland and started a few fires.


Japanese submarines bombarded a couple of locations along our west coast and a sub launched sea plane that actually dropped some incendiary bombs over Oregon:


https://www.history.com/news/h...-during-world-war-ii

I had a relative who worked at the Boeing plant during the war and mentioned this to me, which I later read about the factory camouflage in a book about Boeing.


This is really cool to learn about. But somehow I think even the Japanese would think a town built right next to a huge airport in 1940's would be a little suspect.
 
Posts: 16188 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
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quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
A bunch of balloons were launched carrying incendiary devices some of which apparently made it to the mainland and started a few fires.

One of them was found near my hometown in NW MT...albeit 20 years before it was my hometown.

https://www.greatfallstribune....-kalispell/82726198/

Another was found just a few years ago up in BC. The Canadian military blew it up real good.

Apparently a pregnant woman and five kids were killed by one in Oregon during the war. The only known casualties from the operation.

ETA: Turns out a bunch more were found in MT.

http://garyglynn.com/wordpress...-in-western-montana/

Documented sightings:



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Posts: 14943 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Japanese balloon assault was not very successful because the season when the winds were favorable was also the "wet" season on the west coast.

flashguy




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Posts: 20453 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The extensive work involved in this whole thing would NOT work today. Why? Our own media would publish detailed pictures and write articles for our enemies to formulate bombing plans. So sad how journalism has devolved into an arm of Communism and hate.
 
Posts: 1800 | Location: KY | Registered: April 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for sharing, what an incredible story. I grew up next door to Lockheed in Marietta Georgia. My PawPaw told me they had an elaborate camo net they put over the parking lot and building to make it look like the surrounding pines. I could not find pictures of it but did find This story of another plant.



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Posts: 2131 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very good, but...what was an itty-bitty, sparsely developed suburb supposed to be doing next to a giant runway in the middle of nowhere?

I'm fascinated by these stories - using mirrors to 'hide' the Suez Canal, Patton's rubber army, etc. - but I would've thought that the place would've been a target the moment the Japanese found a way to stretch their aerial reconnaissance that far.
 
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Our perception of the Japanese threat was much greater than the reality, fortunately.
 
Posts: 4302 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Gustofer:





HA! Love the two balloons returned to Japan.
With baskets full of mushroom.
 
Posts: 4801 | Location: Manteca, CA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Let's not forget the Japanese did occupy part of the Aleutian chain.




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Posts: 2077 | Location: Newnan, GA | Registered: January 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
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Very cool. Thanks for sharing!




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Posts: 6259 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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