When the US Army built a fake town on a Boeing plant

I was on Bored Panda just now and came across a gem:

Excerpt from the page

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.

An aerial view of the plant

For those who are still interested, here is the link:

To me, this seems amazing. Hollywood sets on a factory! And now we have inaccurate aviation movies from them…
Anyways, what do you think of this?


I think that’s very interesting. Was it an actual built town, or just a floor that looked real?

EDIT: Also, what factory was this at?

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This must’ve been really interesting to build - I love the street signs, they’re hilarious!

This shows you the brilliant thinking the U.S Military possesses ;)

@Altaria55 a quick glance provides the answers you asked for - also the article supplied in the original post is the source of the story, it’s a good quick read! :)

This is a very cool story! Thanks for sharing. :)

It was a Boeing factory during WW2

Hey this contributes to learning something new every day! Thanks for sharing this hilarious but pretty practical idea!

This is cool! I know they did this somewhere else, I think.

Anyways, you learn something new every day!

This is something you never see on the news every day. This sounds similar to the fake props on an American base that was built designed to fool the Germans when General Patton was in order. Very clever.

It kinda stands out in my opinion…

Never knew this! This is very interesting thanks for sharing!

Pretty cool! You know, there is a thread about historical pictures on here that this would look nice in.

I not know why, but I get “To Kill a Mockingbird” vibes from the picture of the town!

I agree. I realised only after posting this, that if a Japanese plane flew by, the pilot would see a runway and some warplanes near a mysterious town.

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