American Leaf Green CAMO
After WWII, surplus ‘frog-skin’ uniforms became particularly popular among hunters, and imitations by commercial hunting companies meant that the pattern became known as ‘duck hunter’.
In 1948, John Hopkins, chief designer of camouflage at ERDL, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA, designed a camouflage that became known as the ‘ERDL’ or ‘leaf’ pattern. It was never officially issued but select US troops wore it during the Vietnam War, as well as variations of ‘duck hunter’ and local ‘tigerstripe’ designs.
In 1953 eight camouflage uniforms (mostly hand-painted) were trialled in Panama and one pattern, called ‘flock’, was found to be very effective, although it was never issued. Another set of tests was carried out from 1960 to 1962 that included three existing camouflage designs – the USMC ‘standard’ pattern that became known as ‘Vine leaf’ among collectors (sometimes wrongly called the ‘Mitchell’ pattern), the USMC ‘Mitchell’ pattern (similar to the ‘brown clouds’ pattern), and the 1948 ‘ERDL’ pattern. Although the latter two were found to be the most effective, it was in fact the USMC ‘standard’ pattern that had been officially issued the decade before (1950s) on reversible helmet covers and shelter-halves in conjunction with the ‘brown clouds’ pattern. Any uniforms made in the ‘standard’ pattern are either very rare trial garments or were improvised by troops using fabric from the shelter-halves.