The first American attempt at a printed camouflage uniform came in 1940 when the US Army Corps of Engineers produced a disruptive-patterned overall that was tested but never issued. By 1942 the USA had joined WWII, and in July of that year the Quartermaster received an urgent request for 150,000 sets of jungle equipment from General Douglas MacArthur, who was in command of US troops in the South Pacific. Fortunately, the engineers had already tested a series of printed camouflage suits and shown them to the Quartermaster earlier that month. One of the patterns was chosen and rushed through testing and approval procedures in order to get the new uniforms out to troops as quickly as possible.
Marines in the Solomon Islands were the first to receive the ‘frog-skin’ camouflage, as it became known, printed on to a reversible HBT coverall in a five-color ‘jungle’ version on one side, and a three-color ‘beach’ version on the other. Complaints from the many troops suffering from tropical diarrhea about the lack of a bottom flap were answered with the issue of a two-piece camouflage uniform. Field reports suggested that the pattern made mobile troops more visible, and during the 1944 Normandy landings the Americans wearing it were often thought to be Germans as, at the time, camouflage was not common among the Allies. Production of the uniforms ceased and a monotone green replacement was adopted in the belief that it offered better concealment in jungle areas.