Decoy Unit
Archaeology Folk & Facts Features Last Century

Click here to visit the 22villages online newsgroup
please leave your comments in our Guest book

send an email to the 22village team


2nd W.W. Camouflage and Decoy Unit

The first R.A.F. Camouflage and Decoy unit was established at Cavenham on the right of The Avenue. These 2nd World War units were designed to confuse the enemy and thus protect the Tuddenham and Mildenhall airfields nearby.

Film studio technicians at Shepperton created dummy aircraft, using wood and canvas over a metal frame (it needed one and a half tons of steel for a dummy Wellington bomber). The dummy planes had folded wings and all the appropriate lighting both on wings and tails these were painted by members of the local unit.

During daylight hours these replicas were towed into the woods leading the Germans - should they be taking photographs from the air - to think all the planes had taken off on a mission. At night, if the Germans were on their way, the replica planes were taken up the fully lit flare path many times in session. This led the Germans to believe a squadron of planes had taken off for action. R. Douglas Brown noted in his book “East Anglia 1941” that these replica planes were so convincing that special precautions had to be taken to deter R.A.F. pilots from landing on these sites.

©2000 Sarah Brownie

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival ©2000 Designed by ArtAtac