The emergence

Almost immediately after the start of the Second World War, the Germans realized Scheinflughafen Kamerun (SF37). Better known in the area as 'De Kiek'. There were anti-aircraft guns, a number of searchlights, a bunker and hangars. There was even a railway track on which an illuminated wooden fake plane was propelled by a cable.


By setting up mock airports, the Germans want to tempt enemy pilots to drop their bombs there, instead of on the real target. It was the intention that the Allied pilots mistook De Kiek for the real airport Gilze-Rijen. Mock airfields were also drop points for unthrown bombs. Landing with bombs was too dangerous. Sometimes they were also training grounds. In the bunker at De Kiek you will even find a few real practice bombs!

Light trail

The Germans used lighting to lure the English planes at night. As soon as the English were near, the runway lights were turned on to attract attention. Flares were also fired. The English were very quickly aware of the mock airfields and what they were intended for. Nevertheless, some English crews were still misled, despite improved navigational techniques.

Still misguided

Living near an airport in wartime is dangerous. But even in the vicinity of a fake airport, it is of course anything but safe. The Allies were indeed misled and tried to bomb the airfield. Three inhabitants of Brakel were killed in a bombing raid on 20 October 1943.


The book Fake airfield de Kiek in story and image by Bart Beex shows what role fake airfields played during the Second World War. In his search for De Kiek's past, Bart was helped by plot owners Cees and Wim van Gorp, those of 'Jaon van Willekes', and by Jan van Eijck, originally from Alphenaar and an expert on history. The local collective memory was also addressed. The result is a publication full of facts, interesting facts, (aerial) photos and eyewitness accounts. Definitely worth reading!

The books are for sale for 20 euros. You can send an email to to order or pick up. The books are also for sale during forest days and events.

The Kiek is alive again

In 2019, volunteers from the Friends of the Kiek Foundation started to restore the mock airport to its former glory. The mock airport was opened with a two-day festival in World War II style. A Chinook helicopter brought the model of the life-sized Messerschmidt from Gilze-Rijen. Among others, the mayor of Goirle, Mark van Stappershoef and the then King's Commissioner, Wim van de Donk, officially opened the Kiek. Planting the freedom lime tree emphasized that freedom cannot be taken for granted.