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Thread: Modelers help...Battleship colors for USN BB's.

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    Done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy White View Post
    Aloha! I had a friend send me the link to this thread. I was initially conflicted as to how useful it would be to bump a thread that hasn't been updated in 18 months, but there were enough issues I had with some of the information thrown around that I feel it's better that I do.
    Welcome aboard!
    Good information is always welcome, even on an older thread. And this one is stickied, so more's the credit
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    Yeah, that was why I decided it was worth it. I am (hopefully) coming down from an intensely busy time at work, so as I have time I'll try and address the larger issues and also will answer any questions as to the research I've done.

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy White View Post
    Yeah, that was why I decided it was worth it. I am (hopefully) coming down from an intensely busy time at work, so as I have time I'll try and address the larger issues and also will answer any questions as to the research I've done.
    Thank You Tracy and Welcome aboard the WAB.
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  5. #35
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    Some stuff from the first page:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Was it pre-war Standard Grey #5 with white tops? Thats the color she was painted during her yard work in Feb 41 when she left the West Coast.
    Arizona didn't have white turret tops; even this fall of 1940 document called for her to be Red/Red/Red. For what it's worth, Arizona left Puget Sound in the Pre2are #5 Standard Navy Gray and served in that paint up until late May or Early June. She and the rest of the fleet was ordered into Measure 1 much earlier than that, but there were paint production delays. I have a photo showing battleship row in the distance and three of the five battleships (can't make out specific ships) are in Measure 1 whereas the other two are still in prewar gray.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Or was she painted as per Kimmels order in What was referred to as "Mediterranean Blue"?

    Or lastly Was it Modified Measure 1. Using Sea Blue (5-S) in place 5-D of As per US Navy Specifications in Sept 41 (Ship 2 Rev 1)

    And when was she painted out of her Pre War colors? Was it when she was in dry dock in June at Pearl?

    And where is the documentation to show it? The last part is easy. The Navy destroyed most of their records pertaining to the Arizona shortly in 1944.
    Mediterranean Blue was a term used by Glenn Lane, one of Arizona's aviators; he was describing 5-S Sea Blue but didn't know/remember the official designation. Measure 1 was cancelled by SHIPS-2 Rev 1 and essentially replaced by measure 11. All of the paint schemes in the original SHIPS-2 had featured light gray masts above the stacks, but none of the SHIPS-2 Rev 1 schemes did, even though they were largely refined measures from the original release (Measure 1 - Solid, Measure 11 - Solid, Measure 21 - Solid. Measure 2 - Graded, Measure 12 - Graded, - Measure 22 Graded).

    With regards to documentation, I'm pretty sure that some of it (deck logs) went up with the ship. I've been focusing on the "echoes" - orders to other ships or commands that might have mentioned Arizona or effected her. For example, I found this order in August from Mare Island Navy Yard (responsible for manufacturing paint for the Pacific fleet up until 1943) in the general Mare Island Navy Yard camouflage files. However, there were no requisitions of any sort in those records, so I don't know what sort of follow up there might have been. The Ships actually didn't get their paint from the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard - keep in mind that Pearl Harbor was both a Navy Base and Navy Yard, with separate commands, and that the fleet was still considered forward-based at that time. Most of the ships received their paint from Argonne in some respect, which was the Flagship for Base Force.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Pennsylvania did sport the almost exact "blue/grey" scheme that Arizona appears to have had. Both being Flagships but Pennsy did not sport the paintjob with any clarity (color picture) until later in 1944 when photographed in a floating drydock.

    Pennsylvania's original cammo scheme layout (Measure 32) does list though the "5-0" & "5H" colors along with black and deck blue.

    If you look at USN's meaure 14 color it does appear to be the grey/blue coloring that some claim to be "Mediteranian Blue" which is not listed in USN color schemes however Navy Blue is but not for the Pennsylvania class but is for the following BB40 New Mexico class.

    -*SNIP*-

    There would be no reason to repaint the ships color scheme since refit knowing she would serve the South Pacific campaign on the bombardment line and being photographed only a year later in drydock.

    So IMO, from the information available from Arizona survivors Assoc and photos taken before and after that they would have deviated from the classes intended color scheme then what was intended in the plates.

    And I would be pretty sure those survivors would not forget something like that. They could probably tell you every detail about the ship and that particular day. It would be pretty hard to forget from their standpoint.
    OK, so, a sort of rambling free-floating response to a bunch of stuff above. Sailors statements are often contradictory and wrong. A gentleman named Don Stratton who has an amazing story of survival swears he saw a torpedo hit Arizona, yet no torpedo hole or evidence of a strike was ever found. Others remember details we know didn't exist at that time.... the memories get jumbled with age. Heck, I can't remember when I moved into my current house without having to sit and think about it, so I don't blame them at all for being human.

    Your statement "there would be no reason to repaint the ships color scheme since refit," is a little off, as they did repaint ships when new orders came out. Not always immediately, but they got it done either when they were in refit or when they were at anchor for periods of time. Pennsy had more than a couple of refits during the war, and was repainted a few times after the attack on Pearl. Measure 32 was never applied to Pennsylvania (it was a dazzle system and wasn't around until 1943) and Measure 14 was Ocean gray, and not the Sea Blue that "Mediterranean Blue" is substituted for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    These are the Pearl Harbor Era battleships only, after having been raised, repaired and refitted all of this changed and from the North Carolina class (the first new ships to enter service after Pearl Harbor attack and the Washington Treaty collapse) forward, these markings were no longer used as ID from above was not desired by the USN (to protect ship movements) and the ships names for the most part were all removed from the stern however they all did retain a small hull number marking fore on both sides of the bow and aft on both sides of the stern for official ID. ID in the war theatre was largely made by sillowette drawings or ID plates made by USN intelligence such as this one below of BB38 Pennsylvania.
    Minor nitpicks, the Washington Naval treaty collapse predated the attack on Pearl Harbor, (North Carolina was commissioned in April of 1941) and the names were still on the stern, just that the metal pieces were painted the same color as the hull so you couldn't make them out unless you were REALLY close.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy White View Post
    Some stuff from the first page:



    Arizona didn't have white turret tops; even this fall of 1940 document called for her to be Red/Red/Red. For what it's worth, Arizona left Puget Sound in the Pre2are #5 Standard Navy Gray and served in that paint up until late May or Early June. She and the rest of the fleet was ordered into Measure 1 much earlier than that, but there were paint production delays. I have a photo showing battleship row in the distance and three of the five battleships (can't make out specific ships) are in Measure 1 whereas the other two are still in prewar gray.



    Mediterranean Blue was a term used by Glenn Lane, one of Arizona's aviators; he was describing 5-S Sea Blue but didn't know/remember the official designation. Measure 1 was cancelled by SHIPS-2 Rev 1 and essentially replaced by measure 11. All of the paint schemes in the original SHIPS-2 had featured light gray masts above the stacks, but none of the SHIPS-2 Rev 1 schemes did, even though they were largely refined measures from the original release (Measure 1 - Solid, Measure 11 - Solid, Measure 21 - Solid. Measure 2 - Graded, Measure 12 - Graded, - Measure 22 Graded).

    With regards to documentation, I'm pretty sure that some of it (deck logs) went up with the ship. I've been focusing on the "echoes" - orders to other ships or commands that might have mentioned Arizona or effected her. For example, I found this order in August from Mare Island Navy Yard (responsible for manufacturing paint for the Pacific fleet up until 1943) in the general Mare Island Navy Yard camouflage files. However, there were no requisitions of any sort in those records, so I don't know what sort of follow up there might have been. The Ships actually didn't get their paint from the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard - keep in mind that Pearl Harbor was both a Navy Base and Navy Yard, with separate commands, and that the fleet was still considered forward-based at that time. Most of the ships received their paint from Argonne in some respect, which was the Flagship for Base Force.




    OK, so, a sort of rambling free-floating response to a bunch of stuff above. Sailors statements are often contradictory and wrong. A gentleman named Don Stratton who has an amazing story of survival swears he saw a torpedo hit Arizona, yet no torpedo hole or evidence of a strike was ever found. Others remember details we know didn't exist at that time.... the memories get jumbled with age. Heck, I can't remember when I moved into my current house without having to sit and think about it, so I don't blame them at all for being human.

    Your statement "there would be no reason to repaint the ships color scheme since refit," is a little off, as they did repaint ships when new orders came out. Not always immediately, but they got it done either when they were in refit or when they were at anchor for periods of time. Pennsy had more than a couple of refits during the war, and was repainted a few times after the attack on Pearl. Measure 32 was never applied to Pennsylvania (it was a dazzle system and wasn't around until 1943) and Measure 14 was Ocean gray, and not the Sea Blue that "Mediterranean Blue" is substituted for.



    Minor nitpicks, the Washington Naval treaty collapse predated the attack on Pearl Harbor, (North Carolina was commissioned in April of 1941) and the names were still on the stern, just that the metal pieces were painted the same color as the hull so you couldn't make them out unless you were REALLY close.
    Hi Tracy and welcome. A minor nitpick on your nittpick. On Pennsy alone and perhaps others when they returned from Pearl to the US for over haul their "license plates" were removed to cover ships movement.
    You can see here the Pennsy in Mare Island, March 1942 with her "license plate" covered over.

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/013865.jpg

    her " license plate" had been ground down and overpainted. From this point out she wore the naval standard hull marking that was in order at the time (very small 38's). Her refit placed 3-20mm's on her stern with the standard guntub. The entire upper stem of the stern would have to be reinforced to support the additional weight of the stern gun tubs as seen here after refit.

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/013870.jpg

    Her "licence plate" was replaced again and painted out (in a new more forward location on the stern forward of the guntub) just prior leaving for Bikinni Atoll and the Atom bomb tests as seen here.

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/013800f.jpg
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 17 May 13, at 06:49.
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    Like Pennsylvania, The California had similar mods done to the stern section with the 20mm's which after her refit which removed her license plate until WWII came to its close and they were painted out again.

    California when undocked from Pearl and heading home for more extensive repairs with her original "license plate"

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/014474.jpg

    California after her refit and like Pennsylvania weaing the small hull number for wartime. Her stern had already been modified.

    http://navsource.org/archives/01/044/014492y.jpg


    California after the close of WWII and retiring to Philadelphia Navy Yard in late 1945 for lay up with a different "license plate",
    As you can see the mods put into the stern AA sets required them to loose their license plates for a time and when replaced were more forward or in Californias case aft of their pre-Pearl Harbor attack locations.

    The other battleships (Tennessee etc) had the transom sterns so relocation was not such an issue with stern mods for the gun tubs

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/014468a.jpg


    As you mentioned prior, many different mods to each ship.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 17 May 13, at 07:01.
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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    These are the Pearl Harbor Era battleships only, after having been raised, repaired and refitted all of this changed and from the North Carolina class (the first new ships to enter service after Pearl Harbor attack and the Washington Treaty collapse)

    Hi Tracie, perhaps I put too much into that sentence and therefore made it confusing.

    Im well aware of the Washington Treay collapse before Pearl Harbor. What was meant is that the North Carolina class had been the first series of classes of US BB hulls to be built after the Treaties collapse and the US invoked the escaltor clause and thereby permitting 16" guns and heavier displacement carried and a newer hull design coupled with different characteristics compared to those before the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Thanks.
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  9. #39
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy White View Post
    Some stuff from the first page:

    Quote Originally Posted by GG
    Originally Posted by Gun Grape
    Was it pre-war Standard Grey #5 with white tops? Thats the color she was painted during her yard work in Feb 41 when she left the West Coast.
    Arizona didn't have white turret tops; even this fall of 1940 document called for her to be Red/Red/Red. For what it's worth, Arizona left Puget Sound in the Pre2are #5 Standard Navy Gray and served in that paint up until late May or Early June. She and the rest of the fleet was ordered into Measure 1 much earlier than that, but there were paint production delays. I have a photo showing battleship row in the distance and three of the five battleships (can't make out specific ships) are in Measure 1 whereas the other two are still in prewar gray.
    I wasn't referring to the turrets. I was referring to the vertical surfaces above the funnels.

    Though I should have said light grey vice white
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    It has been more than a decade, but with all her history, I miss seeing Mare Island as an active base for ship repair as shown in the above photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Though I should have said light grey vice white
    I might not be understanding what you were trying to say - when Arizona came out of refit in Jan/February of 1941, she did not have white painted fore and main masts. 5-L Light Gray was designed to "match" the prewar #5 Standard Navy Gray, but it was a different type of paint and was less reflective and less blue. (#5 SNG has a slight blue tinge to it). So there was really no point in painting the fighting tops, etc., in 5-L and the rest of the ship in #5 SNG - especially since stocks weren't ready at that point.

    Dreadnought - good catch. I have lots of photos of those ships post-salvage with the letters still welded on, but it's before they headed to the west coast for the final repairs. The only ship I have a close, high-resolution scan of on the west coast are the same Pennsylvania shots you linked to.

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    Tracy, does modern Haze Gray have a similar difference to the WWII version? To my color-blind eyes, the WWII Haze Gray seems to have a bluish-tint.

    Welcome aboard. I've been tempted to ask this at ModelWarships, but since you've brought it up...

    Ed-

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    There were two Haze Grays used during the war. The first one did have a purple-blue tint to it, being mixed from the same 5-TM tinting paste as the other paints (Sea Blue, Ocean Gray, Navy Blue, etc.) - just with a "weaker" ratio. The formula was changed in 1945, though, to a neutral paint. Stocks of the blue powder used to create the tinting paste were running low, and experimentation had shown that it was more the TONE of the paint than the color that mattered, as colors tend to fade towards neutral as distance increases anyway. I don't have any of the actual source documents for this transition (yet?), but you can see, interestingly, that by 1948 Haze Gray has a #27 tacked on at the end, and today's FS 26270 / 36270 "Haze Gray" still has #27 in the title (scroll a little bit past half-way down). I don't think that the colors are precisely the same, but there is some connection still.

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    Thanks. All very interesting.

    Ed-

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    Modelers get it right @ WNY ....

    BB-63's model on display @ the WNY illustrates the detail of the bow mentioned recently on other threads.
    While paravanes are no longer used on BB's, ( correction while BB's are no longer used by the USN) the detail of the model offers the detail from the original construction.
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