Douglas Aircraft During World War II

Douglas plant under camouflage netting, c. 1945. Source: Santa Monica Airport Association

Douglas plant under camouflage netting, c. 1945. Source: Santa Monica Airport Association

Because of the Santa Monica plant of Douglas Aircraft’s importance in the war effort and the fear of a Japanese attack on the west coast, the Santa Monica plant spent World War II shielded by a sophisticated camouflage structure. Designed by Edward Huntsman-Trout and architect H. Roy Kelley and supplemented with the work of set designers from Warner Brothers, the camouflage consisted of a tension compression structure that covered the entire mile-long plant. The camouflage was a residential neighborhood composed of burlap. A dummy aircraft plant was erected adjacent to the neighborhood. The camouflage structure was erected c. 1942 and remained until July 1945.