In October 1944, joint tests were conducted using three U.S. Navy destroyer escorts wearing British Admiralty and U.S. Navy camouflage designs “to evaluate the relative effectiveness of British and American Camouflage Measures under varied lighting and atmospheric conditions at sea.” Six camouflage schemes were used in the tests: USN Measure 12, USN Measure 22, USN Measure 32/3D(ex), USN Measure 33/3D(ex), Admiralty Type “A” described as a “General Purpose Design for all Fleet Units. Object – to reduce visibility at dawn and dusk, and at night; to confuse inclination” and Admiralty Type “D” which was “For Anti-Submarine Escort Vessels only. Object – to delay sighting by surfaced submarines in darkness.”Each destroyer escort carried two schemes one on port and another on starboard.
The three ships eventually used in the tests were WGT type destroyer escorts USS Doyle C. Barnes (DE-353) USS Kenneth M. Willet (DE-354) and USS Jaccard (DE-355) all from the John C. Butler class. All three were newly constructed and just out of shakedown and training and so were readily available. Drawings for the camouflages to be used in the tests had been prepared earlier in August and September. Doyle C. Barnes used USN Measures 12 and 22, Kenneth M. Willet used Admiralty Types “A” and “D” and Jaccard used Measures 32 and 33 Design 3D (ex).
“Continuous trials were held at sea in the Chesapeake Bay Area on the 2nd and 3rd of October 1944. Representatives of the British Admiralty and the U.S. Navy witnessed the exercises aboard the Edward H. Allen (DE-531) and from the observation plane. Motion pictures and still photographs were made from the ship on both days and from the plane on the first day only.
“The three camouflaged destroyer escorts operated in company according to previously planned maneuvers. During the trials, both the observing and observed ships kept detailed logs of course, relative bearing, range, visibility and weather conditions.” *
*From Report of Trials of British Admiralty and U.S. Navy Camouflage Measures, October 1944 page 6.
Five major conclusions as a result of the tests were listed:
*From Report of Trials of British Admiralty and U.S. Navy Camouflage Measures, October 1944 page 7.
The final report on the tests identified four reccommendations:
*From Report of Trials of British Admiralty and U.S. Navy Camouflage Measures, October 1944 page 8.
Report of Trials of British Admiralty and U.S. Navy Camouflage Measures, October 1944.
Document Source: NARA Record Group 38: CominCh USN Formerly Confidential Files 1944.