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US Navy Colour Schemes

USS ARIZONA

 1930s to Early 1941

All vertical surfaces—#5 Standard Navy Gray (US 01);

Steel decks steel horizontal surfaces—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red ( US 14);

Tops of turrets 1, 2 & 4—Insignia Red (ACUS 26).  

December 7, 1941

Few other ships have engendered the controversy that surrounds Arizona's colour at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour, with heated words, threats and imprecations being flung about nearly as thick and fast as Japanese bombs and torpedoes that fateful morning. We're going to stand well clear, and simply offer the following: 

If you are in the Gray Camp;

For those who believe that USS Arizona had repainted into Measure 11—or some variant thereof—or perhaps even Measure 2A, here are the colours you'll need:

Measure 11 Variant

All vertical surfaces from top of boot-topping to the level of the top of the funnel—5-S Sea Blue (US 07);

All vertical surfaces above the top of the funnel—5-L Light Gray (US 03);

All steel decks and horizontal surfaces—5-D Dark Gray (US 04)*;

All wood decks—Teak (C 01). *On the other hand, there are those who claim that Arizona had painted her wood decks in 20-B Deck Blue (Colourcoats US10) by the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. If this is the case, then the steel decks & horizontals would also have been in 20-B. You're on your own here!

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14);

Roofs of turrets 1, 2 and 4—Insignia Red (ACUS 26).

OS2U Kingfisher aircraft—Non-specular Blue-Gray (ACUS 06) over Non-specular Light Gray (ACUS 05).

Measure 2A

Just to keep the waters muddied, there are claims that some of the Battle Line—perhaps including Arizona—had repainted into Measure 2A.

All vertical surfaces from the top of boot-topping waterline up to the line of the main deck—5-D Dark Gray (US 04); 
All vertical surfaces from the line of the main deck up to the level of the top of the funnel—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06);
All vertical surfaces above the top of the funnel including masts, topmasts, and yards—5-L Light Gray (US 03);

Decks and horizontal surfaces, including those laid with wood—5-D Dark Gray (US 04);

Boot-topping—Black ( C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14);

Roofs of turrets 1, 2 and 4—Insignia Red ( ACUS 26).

OS2U Kingfisher aircraft—Non-specular Blue-Gray (ACUS 06) over Non-specular Light Gray (ACUS 05).

If you are in the Blue Camp,

USS Arizona  is known to have painted into Measure 1 in mid-1941. If you are among those who believe that she did not repaint after her collision with USS Oklahoma in October 1941 and was still in Measure 1 at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, these are the colours you need:

All vertical surfaces between the top of the boot-topping and the top of the funnel, and all steel decks & steel horizontals—5-D Dark Gray (US 02);

All vertical surfaces above the top of the funnel—5-L Light Gray (US 03);

Wood decks—Teak (C 01)*;

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater Hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14);

Roofs of Turrets 1, 2 & 4—Insignia Red (ACUS 26).

OS2U Kingfisher aircraft--Non-specular Blue-Gray (ACUS 06) over Non-specular Light Gray (ACUS 05).

*Some believe that Arizona's wood decks were painted. If so, and if they followed the practice applied to USS Texas in her application of Measure 2A, the wood decks would have been painted 5-D Dark Gray.

Finally, bear in mind that there is some evidence that Arizona may have been in the midst of a repaint at the time of the attack, and therefore may have been wearing some of both of the above schemes!

 

USS BOGUE (CVE-9) 

Measure 22 Camouflage (1942/43, 1945), as depicted in the Tamiya 1/700 kit

Lower hull—5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

All vertical surfaces above the lower hull--5-H Haze Gray (US 05);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03).

Measure 32/4a Camouflage (1944)

This scheme differed from port to starboard.

Vertical camouflage pattern—5-P Pale Gray (US 12), 5-L Light Gray (US 13), 5-H Haze Gray (US 05), and 5-N Navy Blue;

Flight Deck—Revised Deck Blue, same as 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);  

Countershading—5-U White (C 03);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03).

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

 

USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6)

Measure 21 (1942-43; part 1944; 1945)

All vertical surfaces—5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

Flight Deck—Norfolk 250-N Flight Deck stain (US 27) through 1942; thereafter Flight Deck Stain 21 (US 11) until 1945; in 1945 Revised Flight Deck Stain 21, same as

 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03).

 

USS FLETCHER (DD-445) 

Measure 12 (mod) Camouflage, as depicted in the Revell 1/144 kit and the Tamiya 1/350 kit

Darkest colour on the hull—5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

Lightest colour on the hull, and darkest colour on the superstructure—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06);

Lightest colour on the superstructure—5-H Haze Gray;

Decks & other horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

 

USS FREEDOM (LCS-1)

 

Vertical camouflage pattern—Flat Black (C 02), Modern USN Haze Gray (M 03), Haze White (US 33), Ocean Gray (US 06);

Steel decks & steel horizontals—Modern USN Deck Gray (M 04);

Flight Deck—Modern USN Flight Deck Gray (M 05);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Modern USN Antifouling Red (M 06).

  

USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73)

Measure 32/15a Camouflage, as depicted in the Hasegawa 1/350 kit

This scheme differed from port to starboard.

Vertical camouflage pattern—5-P Pale Gray (US 12), 5-L Light Gray (US 13), 5-O Ocean Gray (US 06), BK Dull Black (C 02);

Steel decks & steel horizontals—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Flight Deck—Revised Flight Deck Stain 21 (US 10);

Countershading—5-U White (C 03);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

 

USS HORNET (CV-8) 

Measure 12 (mod) Camouflage, as depicted in the Trumpeter 1/200 kit and the Tamiya 1/700 kit

Ship:

Darkest colour on the hull—5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

Lightest colour on the hull, and darkest colour on the superstructure—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06);

Lightest colour on the superstructure—5-H Haze Gray;

External steel decks & other horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Flight deck—Norfolk 250-N Flight Deck Stain (US 27);

Hangar deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar deck bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

Aircraft:

Carrier aircraft were in Non-specular Blue-Gray (ACUS 05) over Non-specular Light Gray (ACUS 06). F4F Wildcat cockpit interior colour was Bronze Green (ACUS 30 ); SBD Dauntless cockpit interior colour was Interior Green (ACUS 09). TBD Devastator cockpit interior colour was Interior Green (ACUS 09),

B-25s were in Olive Drab 41 (ACUS 15) over Neutral Gray 43 (ACUS 13); B-25 interior colour was Interior Green (ACUS 09)

 

USS INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22)

Measure 14 (Shakedown - July 1943), as depicted in the Dragon 1/350 kit

All vertical surfaces—5-O Ocean Gray;

Pole masts & other slender upperworks above the superstructure—5-H Haze Gray (US 05);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Flight Deck—Flight Deck Stain 21 (US 11);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03);.

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

Measure 21 (July - November 1943 and again in 1945)

All vertical surfaces—5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

Flight Deck—Flight Deck Stain 21 (US 11) through late 1944; thereafter Revised Flight Deck Stain 21, same as  20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03)

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

Measure 33/8a (1944)

This scheme differed from port to starboard.

Vertical camouflage pattern—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06), 5-N Navy Blue (US 08), and 5-L Light Gray (US 13);

Flight Deck—Revised Deck Blue, same as 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);  

Countershading—5-U White (C 03);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03).

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

 

USS LEXINGTON (CV-2)

Pre-war

All vertical surfaces—#5 Standard Navy Gray (US 01);

Steel decks & hangar deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Flight deck—Mahogany Flight Deck Stain (US 15);

Flight deck markings—Chrome Yellow (ACUS 11);

Hangar deck bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red ( US 14).  

As-lost, Measure 11 Camouflage

All vertical surfaces—5-N Navy Blue (US 08) [NOTE: by this time 5-N had replaced the earlier 5-S Sea Blue in Measure 11);

Steel decks & steel horizontals—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Flight deck—Norfolk 250-N Flight Deck Stain (US 27);

Flight deck markings—Norfolk 251-N (Full tin of US 09 + 10 drops US 03);

Hangar deck bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red ( US 14).  

 

USS MISSOURI

At Tokyo Bay

Hull—5-N Navy Blue ( US 08);

Hull above US 08, & superstructure—#27 Neutral Haze Gray (US 28);

Horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red ( US 14).

As-Commissioned in Measure 32/22D  Camouflage

This scheme differed from port to starboard.

Vertical camouflage—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06), 5-L Light Gray (US 13), Bk Dull Black (C 02);

Horizontal camouflage—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06), 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater Hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

 

USS OREGON USS OLYMPIA

Spanish-American War

Vertical surfaces—"War Color", aka "Slate" overall (US 37);

Funnel caps—Black (C 02);

Wood decks—Teak (C 01);

Underwater Hull—Antifouling Red (US 14). 

Mahogany pilot houses and such may have been unpainted.

 

 

USS REUBEN JAMES

  

 

 

 

USS SARATOGA (CV-3), Late 1942

Measure 21

All vertical surfaces—5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

Flight Deck—Norfolk 250-N Flight Deck Stain (US 27);

Flight Deck Markings uncertain, but if light-coloured were Norfolk 251-N, for which use 5-B Thayer Blue (US 09);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03)

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

  

USS TICONDEROGA (CV-14)

1944

Measure 33/10a Camouflage (as depicted in the Trumpeter kit)

Vertical camouflage pattern—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06), 5-N Navy Blue (US 08), and 5-L Light Gray (US 13);

Flight Deck—Revised Deck Blue, same as 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);  

Countershading—5-U White (C 03);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03).

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

April 1945

Measure 21 Camouflage

Vertical surfaces—overall 5-N (US 08);

Exterior steel decks & horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Flight Deck—Revised Deck Blue, same as 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White C 03). 

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

 

 

USS YORKTOWN (CV-5)

Measure 12 Camouflage, Coral Sea/Midway

Hull, up to hangar deck level—5-S Sea Blue (US 07);

Hull, from hangar deck level to flight deck level—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06);

Island & superstructure above flight deck level—5-H Haze Gray (US 05);

Flight Deck—Norfolk 350-N Flight Deck Stain (US 27);

External steel decks, flight deck expansion joints, flight deck tie-down strips—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White C 03);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14). 

 

USS YORKTOWN (CV-10)

1943

Measure 21 Camouflage

Vertical surfaces—overall 5-N Navy Blue (US 08);

External steel decks, flight deck expansion joints, flight deck tie-down strips—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

Flight Deck—Flight Deck Stain 21 (US 11);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White C 03);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

1944 

Measure 33-10A Camouflage

Vertical camouflage pattern—5-O Ocean Gray (US 06), 5-N Navy Blue (US 08), and 5-L Light Gray (US 13);

Flight Deck—Revised Deck Blue, same as 20-B Deck Blue (US 10);

All external steel decks & steel horizontal surfaces—20-B Deck Blue (US 10);  

Countershading—5-U White (C 03);

Hangar Deck—#20 Standard Deck Gray (US 02);

Hangar bay bulkheads & overheads—5-U White (C 03).

Boot-topping—Black (C 02);

Underwater hull—Norfolk 65-A Antifouling Red (US 14).

1945 

Measure 21 Camouflage as above, but using the darker Revised Flight Deck Stain 21, same color as 20-B (US 10). 

 

US Submarines in WW2 

There were two Measure 32 schemes that came into official use in June 1944 (they may have been used unofficially a few months earlier). Measure 32/3SS-B was the light-coloured scheme, and Measure 32/9SS was the dark scheme.

Here are the painting instructions for the Measure 32 schemes:

Measure 32/3SS-B: Paint the deck glossy black (use ACS 04), stopping two feet short of the edges. All other horizontal and sloping surfaces paint BK Dull Black (C 02). The vertical surfaces were painted #27 Haze Gray (US 28). The edges on curved surfaces between the Dull Black and Haze Gray were feathered (blended). Just aft of the conning tower, the Haze Gray blended into #17 Ocean Gray (US 31), which in turn blended into the BK Dull Black stern section. The undersides of any overhanging surfaces were painted 5-U White (C 03). The forward, rounded portion of the conning tower and periscope shears were painted #17 Ocean Gray. The deck guns were painted BK Dull Black on the upper half of the barrels and #46 Outside Gray (US 32) on the lower half of the barrels.

Measure 32/9SS: The instructions were the same as for Ms.32/3SS-B, except that #17 Ocean Gray (US 31) was used on the vertical surfaces instead of #27 Haze Gray. Just before the forward deck gun, the #17 Ocean Gray was blended into #11 Outside Gray (US 34). Aft of the conning tower the #11 Outside Gray was blended into #7 Navy Gray (US 35), and this was blended into BK Dull Black at the stern. Both the forward and aft rounded ends of the conning tower were painted #7 Navy Gray, blended into #17 Ocean Gray on the conning tower sides.

Measure 9: Some US submarines remained painted in Measure 9, the all-black scheme that came into use in September 1941. For this, paint the entire submarine above the waterline Dull Black (C 02). The painting shall be carried over all parts which are visible from the air including the numbers, capstan, running light boards and bridge rails. Radio insulators shall be dark. There shall be no boot topping. The underbody shall be painted with current issues of black antifouling paints (use ACS 04).

 

Modern (post-WW2) USN

All vertical surfaces—Haze Gray (M 03);

Decks—Deck Gray (M 04);

Flight Decks—Flight Deck Gray (M 05);

Underwater Hulls—Antifouling Red (M 06);

Boot-topping—Black (C 02).

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