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Serial 047
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California

February 23, 1943


From: Commanding Officer.
To: Commander Task Force SIXTY-NINE.
Subject: Camouflage of Ships.
Reference:  (a) ComTaskFor SIXTY-NINE mgm 200324 of February, 1943.

      1.         The writer has had limited opportunities to observe camouflage measure number 22.  Most observations have been made of camouflage measure number 21.

      2.         It is believed that camouflage serves one of two purposes, namely:

             (a) Concealment, or
             (b) Deception.

                 The uniform medium dark color of measure 21 does not appear to supply either concealment or deception. Vessels are easily detected even against the relatively dark background of blue sea.  They are not so easily seen against a dark land background, but such a background does not often exist.  It is believed that a light colored upper-works would be more suitable for supplying concealment, as then the dark hull would not be readily detected against the sea background while the upper-work would tend to blend with the sky background.  It is believed that it will be almost impossible to satisfy "Concealment" by painting, because of the varying back ground.

      3.         It is believed possible, however, to adopt a camouflage measure which will supply the feature of deception.  It was noted recently when observing the SUWANNEE that it was almost impossible to estimate her course even at a short range.  It is believed that a design of mixed dark and light colors on the hull with light colored upper-works would be more suitable for both concealment and deception than the present measure number 21.





National Archives & Records Administration, Archives I, Washington DC
Record Group 311, United States Fleet Battle Force Commander Battleships General Administrative Files

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

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