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Topic review - Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Phil,

As an aside, when the Pacific Fleet was doing evaluation of detection of the battle-fleet from the air in the summer of 1941, it was noticed that dry decks stood out like a "sore thumb". However, if the decks were wet, aka darker, the ships were less visible at longer ranges. When the recommendation was made to "paint" the decks to reduce detection to the battleship commanders, they said hey we could just keep the decks wet to avoid painting the decks ... :big_grin:

The impracticality of doing that was the reply (wetting the deck while under air attack warning would be "difficult"!!!). Hence USS TENNESSEE and NEVADA had their decks painted for evaluation prior to the Pearl Harbor attack.
Post Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:14 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
I appreciate the word of caution. It had occurred to me that this might be its actual color, and when I looked at some sites on the web, most (not all) teak is this color...which more or less confirmed my old memory/impressions.
Yes, painting the decks as the war came on was a painful evolution for those old chiefs, for sure.

Thanks again.
Post Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:54 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
I have to put in a word of caution about the color of teak wood used on decks. I have in my hand a piece of the teak decking from the ex-USS Oklahoma City CG-5 that was removed in 1999 just before the ship was sunk in a SINKEX near Guam. That was 20 years after the ship was decommissioned and mothballed. It is very dark brown, and it has not been stained. I also noticed that the deck planks on the USS Little Rock CLG-4 museum ship had also turned a dark brown color, and it was not stained (they have since been replaced with a synthetic wood). So teak ages to a darker color without being stained.

But when I was on the OK City the decks were almost white - from bleaching and holystoning. There is no way any deck crew would allow a nice teak deck to turn dark brown! So I doubt that the teak decks on any cruiser or battleship were ever dark brown while the ships were in service. They were painted a fairly dark gray during WWII - that must have caused quite a bit of consternation for the old salts!

One other thing about "teak" decks. The blueprints for the USS Cleveland CL-55 - drawn in the late 1930s - call for deck planks that are 2 inches thick, made of a lamination of 1 inch thick teak over 1 inch Douglas fir. So pre-war the Navy was cutting costs by substituting Douglas fir for teak where it wouldn't be seen.

Phil
Post Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:43 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Well, thanks v. much for that info on the carrier deck wood, Tracy White. Answers my question & good to know, certainly.
Post Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:01 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
G-Opt wrote:
If not teak, what type of wood did carrier decks utilize?


It's a little off-topic, but the US carriers used Douglas Fir for the most part. On the Essex it was found that in some circumstances the tailhook would strike the metal tie down during landing and "bounce," thus missing the nearby arresting wire, so in the area of landing the last plank before the metal tie-down was changed to the harder teak wood, I presume to give a less sudden transition so there was less of a bounce. This was a change from "as built" and wasn't put into place until 1944, if memory serves.
Post Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:53 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
There are around ten photos from the Life magazine story of Portland out there readily available, and many of them show wood planking in various places, e.g. the flag box area, in front of "B" turret, etc. I have also seen photos of anti-skid mat strips laid on the deck. I say strips because you can often seen between the strips down to the deck underneath.

G-Opt wrote:
Colorized? Not sure what that means, but the teak was stained in a mahogany color, I think. Perhaps that's what you're seeing? I own a piece of teak removed from CA-30 in one of her 1930's refits on the West Coast (~1" x 1.5" x 4.5") , and it is definitely stained in a mahogany tone.

The B&W pic is more interesting as it does show planking on the "flight deck"...next to the 5" ready ammo box they're loading up.
Wonder what they were thinking in building her that way? Seems an odd decision.
Post Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:51 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Very good to know about the mahogany stain...I didn't know that, although I probably should have.

If not teak, what type of wood did carrier decks utilize? (This little piece I have is certainly teak, and it is stained in a mahogany shade, but the gentleman who acquired it--and a good deal more of the same wood--served on CA-30 in the mid-to-late Thirties when she was in the PacFlt.)

TIA
Post Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:41 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
See this Idaho photo for the most excellent example of dry teak, wet teak, and red non-skid you could ever ask for and which illustrates Tracy's statement wonderfully:
http://navsource.org/archives/01/042/014200a.jpg

G-Opt's comment does get me thinking though... why did the USN pick a mahogany color for their flight deck stain? (best guess: As a darkening to cover up the grime while still being able to call it a "natural" wood tone in the days where anything cruiser or larger is expected to show off their wood decks as a sign of pride? Awfully garish for that, though. And it does raise the question of how the IJN managed to keep their unstained wood flight decks relatively clean.)

Oh, and do note: carrier decks were not teak (someone, correct me if there was an outlier to this statement. Graf Zeppelin's wood overlay above her armored flight deck maybe?)
Battleships and cruisers (and not all of them) were the ones that got the teak (when a country had access to it and/or was willing to pay for it), and they typically didn't stain it. Paint during wartime, yes, so it could be hollystoned off afterwards. Stain, no - though I'm sure there were some rare exceptions.

- Sean F.
Post Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:57 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
The deck was not stained - Mahogany deck stain was for carriers, which had a lot of wear and tear and oils, etc.

The deck in the color photo is wet, as Matt noted, which changed the appearance.
Post Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:31 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Colorized? Not sure what that means, but the teak was stained in a mahogany color, I think. Perhaps that's what you're seeing? I own a piece of teak removed from CA-30 in one of her 1930's refits on the West Coast (~1" x 1.5" x 4.5") , and it is definitely stained in a mahogany tone.

The B&W pic is more interesting as it does show planking on the "flight deck"...next to the 5" ready ammo box they're loading up.
Wonder what they were thinking in building her that way? Seems an odd decision.
Post Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:55 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
taskforce48 wrote:
Per conversation over in the Northampton Thread, here a a few pics of the Portland upper gun deck in 1940 and 1941 to show wooden decks.

Image
Thought due to color it was possible linoleum but we see the crew is washing the deck do it's wet.

Image
Late 1941 we clearly see the planking on the upper deck.

Matt

I'm wondering about the color photo. Is it colorized? The maroon deck color in the photo looks an awful lot like the color of USN wooden aircraft carrier flight decks before they switched to the weathered deck blue color. If that's a faithful colorization, then I'd say there's wood planking underneath (that's not to say wood planking wasn't ripped up and tossed overboard shortly after Pearl Harbor for the fire hazard it was though). I also have some photos of a large USS Portland model that resembles a builder's model, and those gun decks are all the same as the main deck on that model, and they're all maroon colored.

Dave
Post Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:37 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Color photo is matting (?), not planking, I suspect.

Nope, let me rescind that.
Post Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:51 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Per conversation over in the Northampton Thread, here a a few pics of the Portland upper gun deck in 1940 and 1941 to show wooden decks.

Image
Thought due to color it was possible linoleum but we see the crew is washing the deck do it's wet.

Image
Late 1941 we clearly see the planking on the upper deck.

Matt
Post Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Well a new year is with us and progress is being made on the kit. Currently working on dry fitting and cleaning up the hull and deck pieces in preparation for gluing....any particular tips in applying the adhesive ? I have puttied up some minor push marks which left an indent in the hull pieces. Another step completed is the mounts for the display pedestals have been installed. I am also studying photos intensely and reviewing the multitude of parts from not only the kit, but the resin and PE from the Pontos add ons.. fun fun
Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:25 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
MartinJQuinn wrote:
unless Tracy White has stumbled upon evidence of that at the National Archives, I'd go with the blues.


So far I haven't really found anything with regards to how fast the Pacific switched colors. It's something I've mulled over for my next trip, but there's a couple areas I could look and one is about 30 boxes long..... Thousand bucks a trip, give or take.... each box can take an hour even if you don't find anything to scan or photograph, that's a project to cut up over a couple of visits.

BuShips camouflage for 1945 isn't that large, but the file code for camouflage is a subset of paint, which has its own code as it was considered a preservative coating. The basic paint code, which could cover stocks, etc., is what is 30 boxes long.
Post Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:52 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Warship Pictorial No. 1 - USS Indianapolis CA-35  Reply with quote
rocketmannw wrote:
Is this publication (Warship Pictorial No. 1 - USS Indianapolis CA-35) helpful in building the Indy or does the Number 11 cover the same material ? I have the Number 11 on the Portland & Indianapolis but have not seen the other Vol 1. Book collectors seem to want ridiculous prices from that I have seen.

Thanks,

Bob 1/350 Academy kit on the workbench


The Indy pictorial #1 has line drawings also so IMHO it can be more useful. I you watch on eBay or other sites you ca find some for reasonable prices. But don’t expect them to be real cheap.
Post Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:35 am
  Post subject:  Warship Pictorial No. 1 - USS Indianapolis CA-35  Reply with quote
Is this publication (Warship Pictorial No. 1 - USS Indianapolis CA-35) helpful in building the Indy or does the Number 11 cover the same material ? I have the Number 11 on the Portland & Indianapolis but have not seen the other Vol 1. Book collectors seem to want ridiculous prices from that I have seen.

Thanks,

Bob 1/350 Academy kit on the workbench
Post Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:43 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
rocketmannw wrote:
Hello all....

Please bear with me for a moment with my question.....has it been determined what color of deck the Indy had at the time of her sinking by IJN I-58 ? I have not found any sort of a definitive answer if there is one. I am creating a display of "Atomic Technology Development" showing the vehicles involved , Gadget, the devices, Enola Gay, Bock's Car, USS Indianapolis CA35 among others. Thanks in advance....

Bob

You can't go wrong painting her in Navy Blue and Haze Grey, with Deck Blue decks, turrets tops, etc. She "may" have been painted in the newer neutral greys, but unless Tracy White has stumbled upon evidence of that at the National Archives, I'd go with the blues.
Post Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:36 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Yippee and FINALLY !!!! I have received my 1/350 Academy 1945 USS Indianapolis kit after a long wait...now on to construction....

Bob :woo_hoo:
Post Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:28 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Hello all....

Please bear with me for a moment with my question.....has it been determined what color of deck the Indy had at the time of her sinking by IJN I-58 ? I have not found any sort of a definitive answer if there is one. I am creating a display of "Atomic Technology Development" showing the vehicles involved , Gadget, the devices, Enola Gay, Bock's Car, USS Indianapolis CA35 among others. Thanks in advance....

Bob
Post Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:59 pm

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