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Cincpac File No.
Serial 01594
Received November 3rd Stamp


Pearl Harbor, T. H. October 6, 1941.


From: Commander-in-Chief, United States, Pacific Fleet
Subject: Visibility of Ships - Camouflage Experiments.
Reference: (a) Cincpac Conf. ltr. S19/(50)/01445 of September 13, 1941.
(b) Cincpac Conf. ltr. S19/ (0457) of March 23, 1941.
(c) BuShips Conf. ltr. C-S19-7(341) of July 30, 1941.
(d) Cincpac Conf. ltr. S19/(50) Serial 01391 of September 8, 1941.
(e) BuShips Conf. ltr. C-S19-1-(1) (341)/C-EN28/A2-11 of August 29, 1941.
(f) Cincpac Conf. ltr. S19/(50) Serial 01593 of October 6, 1941.`

1.A supplementary camouflage experimental program has been inaugurated, to validate conclusions summarized in reference (a), which were based upon the recent camouflage experiments, reference (b), and to evaluate certain new colors, described in reference (c), and new modes of painting.

2.In reference (c), the Bureau of Ships stated that manufacture of Formula 5-D is being discontinued, and that new Formulas 5-S (Sea Blue), 5-O (Ocean Gray) and 5-H (Haze Gray), now under manufacture, will supplant present colors, in the near future.

3.Experimental measures are now being applied, pursuant to reference (d), to ships listed:

  (a) Measure 1A
 -  Apply Formula 5-S to all vertical and horizontal surfaces except decks.
Paint steel weather decks with bluish-gray deck paint, reference (e), when available.
  (b) Measure 2A
 -  Apply Measure 2 as shown on plate 2 of Ship Camouflage Instructions, Ships 2, using new Formulas 5-H, 5-O, and 5-S respectively, in place of old Formulas 5-L, 5-O and 5-D.
  (c) Measure 12A
 -  Apply the following composite style of camouflage painting:

(a) Hull to level of first continuous sheer (deck) line - Formula 5-S.

(b) Superstructure above line of Formula 5-S, and all masses, whether solid or "clustered", above the gun mount level -Formula 5-0.

(c) Pole masts and their yards and slender upper works above

(b) above Formula 5-H.

  (d) Measure 1B
 -  Same as Measure 1A above, substituting experimental "Sapphire Blue" for Formula 5-S.


4.The ships listed in paragraph 3 above less PORTER will return to the Hawaiian Area in October. It is desired that all Force and Type Commanders have units under their commands make observations, consolidate and correlate reports as submitted, and forward them to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet prior to 15 December 1941, with recommendations in the premises.

5.In reference (f), Commander Battle Force and Commander Scouting Force were directed to have applied certain measures for suppression of "sun-glint" reflections from specular surfaces, and to have applied special blue-gray deck paint now under manufacture, to one ship of each type under their command, in each Task Force.

6.Upon designation of ships for any experimental measures, Force Commanders will disseminate information as to the identity of each ship and the measures applied, in order that all observers may compare intelligently the efficacy of the various schemes under trial.

7.Reports should furnish the following information :

(a) Comparative visibility by day, by night under natural illumination, and by night under artificial illumination, to surface, air, and periscope observers.

(b) Target angle deception.

(c) Range deception.

(d) Camouflage of type and ship identity.

(e) Effect of weather conditions.

(f) Effect of sun angle (Angle at the observer, between line to the sun and target).

(g) Revealing and/or identifying characteristics.

(h) Suggestions for improvement.

8.The attainment of optimum general camouflage is considered in large part dependent upon comprehensive service test; therefore, it is necessary that addressees utilize all available opportunities for observation of these tests. Reports submitted in accordance with paragraph 7 above will be of value only if they are the result of thorough study and preparation.

9.Pending receipt of comprehensive instructions from the Bureau of Ships, no change is contemplated in the present directive providing for the general application of Measure 1 to ships in the U. S. Pacific Fleet. However, inasmuch as the manufacture of Formula 5-D has been discontinued, painting will of necessity be limited to touching up with available supplies of this paint, until general issue of the new formulas, 5-S, 5-0 and 5-H has been initiated. Ships having exhausted supplies of formula 5-D, will requisition sufficient Formula 5-S, to apply Measure 1A of paragraph 2 above, and will report application of this measure to Type Commanders. For the present, paint will not be applied to the wood decks of ships other than those designated to carry out measures outlined in reference (f ). General instructions for painting all vessels in this Fleet will be promulgated in the near future.


   Cincpac 5CM-41
   List II, Case 2; A, X2, X8,
   EN3, EN7, ND11-14, ND11ac,     
EN3; Office of Naval Operations, EN7; Bureau of Construction and Repair,

   NY8-10, Cincaf A1.     
Naval Shipyards: NY8; Puget Sound , NY9; Mare Island, NY9-1; Hunter's Point, NY10; Pearl Harbor

   Cinclant 5CM-41
   List I, Case 1; Type Comdrs.


Flag Secretary.

- 2 -

National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch
Record Group 181, Central Subject Files, 1940-50.

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

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