: I knew I had seen references to needing to
: cover or eliminate the turret top color
: markings among the documents that Dana
: provided me, but I couldn't locate them
: off-hand. Well, after some effort I found
: the references I remembered.
: The first report page dated 31 July 1941 was
: from USS PENNSYLVANIA on aerial
: observations. Note the last paragraph about
: the turret tops being a problem.
: And this report dated 23 June 1941 from USS
: NORTHAMPTON echos the same concern. See the
: paragraph I have boxed.
: Response from the higher ups was that they
: were NOT going to authorize elimination of
: the ID markings on turret tops "at this
: time". Also, it was proposed that
: producing marking colors that
: "reduced" the contrast could be an
: These two reports and the response tells me
: that the most logic reason for USS NEVADA's
: number 1 turret top being painted over in
: the same color as the wood decks on 7
: December 1941, is because she was involved
: in an experiment to reduce aerial
: visibility. Along with painting the wood
: decks, eliminating white canvas, etc,
: painting or otherwise hiding the ID markings
: atop the turrets could well have been one of
: the efforts tried to evaluate effectiveness
: of this action on reducing aerial
: detection/ID. On 7 December 1941, only USS
: NEVADA and USS TENNESSEE were authorized for
: this experiment. It is unlikely that the
: other battleships at Pearl Harbor on that
: day had the same direction.
: After going through the mass of observation
: reports from the initial May-June 1941 camo
: evaluation efforts, I'm confused about some
: ships being called out as being painted
: "Black" and others "Dark
: Gray". Most of the reports calling out
: certain ships as being "black"
: were from aerial units like Patrol units
: based at Hawaii and submarines. Some units
: reporting could be confused about what color
: is being applied to USN ships not knowing
: that Ms 1 used a very dark paint, 5-D, that
: was nearly black in shade. However, in some
: cases observation reports by surface units
: active in the evaluations and fully aware of
: how the ships were painted call out some
: ships as "black". Like this
: report from USS LOUISVILLE on an observation
: of USS NEVADA on 23 June 1941. Were some
: battleships painted black for a period in
: the summer of 1941?
: Finally, here is a fairly detailed report on
: submarine observation 5 June 1941 of USS
: COLORADO while she was painted with Ms 5
: False Bow Wave on her Ms 1 camo.
: Note the observation that reflection from
: the turret sides were as bright as canvas
: and detectable. It should be remembered
: that the initial Ms 1 "5-D"
: painted ships actually used a paint made
: from the pre-war gray paint mixed with black
: paste due to lack of the proper paint.
: Unfortunately, this mix had much more
: reflectance than desired for the reason
: noted here.