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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Japan Tour

 A large-scale model of greater Tokyo region constructed in Los Angeles, California. To gain a sense of the scale, note the two men standing to the right. Source: Library of Congress, Henry Arnold Papers, Box/Reel 57.
I'm reading Joseph Kanon's Stardust. It's set in the period immediately after WW2. Our hero is charged with putting together a movie from a bunch of film shot by the Army in German, mostly pretty horrific stuff. He gets shunted to a movie studio in Hollywood that is cooperating in this endeavor. When he shows up, they give our hero "the Japan Tour". Naturally everyone (that would be me, the reader, and our hero) is wondering just what this is. It turns out the studio had built a large scale terrain model of Japan so the Army Air Corps could use it to train pilots for bombing missions. Mentioning this, and being so specific about it makes me think that there really was such a thing, so I started looking. Took me an hour, and I only found this one picture.

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