Friday, September 20, 2013

Same Camouflage on Two Ships

Two dazzle-painted US ships (c1918) with the same camouflage
When dazzle ship camouflage was first adopted by the British Royal Navy in 1917 (and later by the US), the original plan was that no two ships should be painted with the same design. But it soon became apparent that this could never be accomplished, so a single design was often applied to multiple ships, with modifications as needed. In an earlier post, as an example of this, we featured photographs of two dazzle-painted British ships, the SS Empress Russia and the SS Osterley. Pictured above is another example, as seen in two American ships, the USS Congaree (top) and the USS Lake Borgne (bottom). According to a note made by US Navy camoufleur Everett L. Warner, the camouflage for the American ships was designed by a well-known marine painter named Frederick Judd Waugh (a student of Thomas Eakins), who is shown below in the process of painting a "victory mural" at the conclusion of World War I. Three hundred works by Waugh are in the collection of the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University in Wichita KS.

WWI ship camoufleur Frederick J. Waugh
Waugh's Victory Mural (c1919)