Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WW1 US Ship Camouflage Schemes

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Above As explained in an earlier post, during World War 1 the US government approved the use on merchant ships of five ship camouflage schemes. These illustrations of them (along with several others), were published in full color in Lindell T. Bates, The Science of Low Visibility and Deception as an Aid to the Defense of Vessels Against Attack by Submarines (Submarine Defense Association, 1918).

Since there are no color photographs of WW1-era ship camouflage, these contemporaneous illustrations may offer some insight into what paint colors were used. More detailed reproductions of these and more are available here.

Camouflage pattern being applied to unidentified US ship (c1917)

From CAMOUFLAGE RECORD in the Weekly Commercial News. Vol 57 No 17, p. 8—

Ten painters in a Jacksonville (Fla.) yard recently put the coat of a camouflage on a vessel for the emergency fleet in two days and six hours. "The Hun Hammer" believes this is a speed record for painting. The ship was 285 feet long. "The Hun Hammer" invites reports from any crew in the country that can beat the Jacksonville record. It recalls that recently on the Pacific Coast a painting record was established, but remarks that nearly four days were required to complete the job.