Hidden in Plain Sight
Deception in the U.S.

Military buffs, watchers of the History channel programming and survivors of WWII will recall the subterfuge that preceded the Normandy Invasion. It was called Operation Fortitude. Through the use of fake tanks, trucks, artillery and lots of phoney radio traffic, the Allies were able to convince the German high command that the Invasion of Europe would begin with a landing at Pas De Calais.

Foam Rubber PlanePlywood ArtilleryInflatbale Tank
Foam rubber planes, plywood artillery pieces and inflatable tanks used in Operation Fortitude.

While trivia buffs have surely heard about this effort to deceive the Germans, far fewer have any knowledge of the campaign to hide the Lockheed Burbank aircraft plant in Southern California.

Now for the first time. you can see documentation of the efforts to keep our West Coast aircraft facilities safe from enemy eyes. See below.

Hidden In Plain Sight

During World War II, the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a possible Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.

Lockheed plant before camouflage
What the Airport looked like before the camouflage...

Lockheed plant after camouflage
And after...

Lockheed plant after camouflage
The lady who sent this said she received an interesting story about someone's mother who worked at Lockheed. She, as a younger child, remembers all this. And to this day, these are the first pictures of it she's seen.

Lockheed plant after camouflage
Another person who lived in the area talked about as a boy, watching it all be set up like a movie studio production. They had fake houses, trees, etc., and moved parked cars around so it looked like a residential area from the skies overhead.

Lockheed plant after camouflage
The view from above the net...

Lockheed plant after camouflage
And from below.

Lockheed plant after camouflage
I lived in North Long Beach during World War II. I was 13 years old in 1940.
The Long Beach airport was near Lakewood, CA. There was a large Boeing Plant there.
If you would drive down Carson St. going south, you could drive under the camouflage netting. -Ed Pollard

Lockheed plant after camouflage
I am 85 and had much of my pilot training in California. I have been under this net and have seen it from the air. During preflight training I rode a bus under the net and was very surprised as I didn't know it was there. It was strong enough to walk on and they hired people to ride bicycles and move around as if they lived there to make it look authentic. -Warren Holmgreen, Jr.

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