Sunday, June 10, 2012


I've been gearing up for a trip to NARA II in College Park this October. One of the topics I'd like to make some progress on is the 1945 shift to neutral camouflage colors on Navy ships. The colors were ordered into use in February of 1945, but the it's a question as to when and if certain ships were painted in them.

So, I'm going through some of the online finding aids in "ARC" I'm going through all of the folder listings for "Commander, South Pacific Area and Force. (04/13/1942 - 09/02/1945)" which is 175 boxes long. Obviously, I am not tearing through these very quickly.....

I'm at the Logistics section right now, and there are 18 folders listed with the L21 designation, which covers shipments. There's also a separate file code under materials for paint, JJ52 (no hits in this accession), and one under ships materials, S19. Complicating the problem, camouflage and paint directives were sometimes issued under administrative orders (A codes) or fleet orders (FF codes). I digress....

These 18 folders occupy boxes 28 through 31, and since all ARC lists is the folder titles and file codes, I don't know if there's actually any paint information in them or if they only deal with the base commanders staff car replacement. What's also adding to the volume of work is that this accession was broken down into three sections, so those 18 folders are just the first set; there are two more

Then, of course, there are the twenty-three BOXES of secret  memos; I've found at least two memos in other archives from that group:
Since the Fleet Maintenance Office was responsible for camouflage paint, this is another area to hit.

And this is just one accession of records.