Color-Blind Observers for National Defense

Here is an interesting little story about colorblind people working for the army. This story was published in the Time magazine on the 5th of August in 1940—so quite a while ago.

One man in 20 is color-blind in greater or lesser degree and for that reason ineligible for training as an Army Air Corps pilot or observer. Last week the Air Corps’s School of Flight Medicine reported an interesting incident.

In a plane at Fort Sill, Okla. early this summer, an Air Corps observer was able to spot only ten of 40 camouflaged artillery fieldpieces on the ground. An observer of the Field Artillery in a plane spotted all 40 and accurately plotted their positions on his map. The explanation: the artilleryman, selected under less rigorous examination than the Air Corps man, was colorblind. Camouflage, designed to deceive the normal eye, fooled him not a whit.

Last week, at the School of Flight Medicine, clerks combed the files preparing a list of candidates rejected for color blindness. But the Air Corps still wants no color-blind pilots. A pilot must be able to distinguish between colors in Very signals, field lights, etc., where a mistake would be costly.

Found at National Defense: Color-Blind Observers.
Thanks to Vasile from Discromat for sending me the link.