Joe's Vault: Making a giant Boeing plant disappear

Joe's Vault: Making a giant Boeing plant disappear
It's been a while since I've climbed into the Vault to show you some of our visual history. To be honest, I was digging through there a lot for our Fisher Centennial Celebration special this past April, and I almost lost myself.

Today we see something that didn't originate in our archives, but rather comes from the National Archives.

It's a look at the historic Boeing Plant 2 during the waning days of World War 2.

The fear was that the Japanese would fly this far and try to bomb the Boeing plant. So Boeing camouflaged the giant plant to make it look like a residential neighborhood. It's a good bet the "neighbors" you see in this clip were strolling for the camera. The houses are very "Disney-fied" - not quite to full scale. But all that counted was that it looked real from the air.

Nearly 7,000 B-17 bombers were built in Plant 2, as well as the B-29 Superfortress. No planes have been built there since about 1970.

This clip is from the Universal Newsreel collection housed at the National Archives. In theaters, it had music and the voice of Ed Herlihy on it but, sadly, that didn't survive with the film. Time doesn't permit me to put music on it, but if you've ever seen old movie newsreels, I think you'll be able to imagine the music as you watch this…



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