World War II Preparations

My most recent career is interesting. I have a security pass and clearance and have made several recent trips to the famous “Skunk Works” facility featured in Scott Kellogg’s “21st Century Fox” comic strip. I’ve also had occasion to visit a number of aerospace facilities near my home in Southern California, from the Hughes satellite assembly facility to the Deep Space Network dishes in the California desert. (Climbing around those was enjoyable.)

But these are big facilities, and thus big potential targets in wartime. My office for many years was located on an airport that used to be a military airbase — and in fact my building before we reconstructed it had been an Army mess hall built in 1939. There was (and still is) another military base not far away, which had huge storage of bombs and other military ordinance. A fat target indeed, and being on the Pacific coast quite reachable. Someone got the bright idea to use our airbase as a decoy — so they build rows and rows of fake bomb storage bunkers. They were empty, and not even built to full scale (not obvious from the air) — and they are still there, nearly seventy years later.

But what did they do with the real facility they were trying to protect? Here’s a good set of pictures to give you an idea, including this one:

The image above is on top of a weapons manufacturing facility, the Lockheed plant in Burbank. It has fake grass, hills and trees, a fake residential area, and is all constructed on a giant cloth net covering over the entire facility.

More pictures are visible here.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle