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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
This info was posted by Dana Bell over on Steelnavy, thought it was worth archiving in this thread. Thanks Dana!!

Quote:
This probably should have been appended to the thread below, but it took me five hours to dig this all out of the files and I didn't want it to get lost. (I really have to finish that book....)

INDIANAPOLIS

Indianapolis became the flagship of Commander, Scouting Force, in late 1933. As such, for most of her pre-war history she attached herself as the last ship in a cruiser division rather than taking the position of the divisional lead ship. (This often affected the turret colors and aircraft markings.)

1934 photos show her with the “Squadron” flag painted atop turrets 1, 2, and 3. The colors are a checkerboard pattern of (clockwise) white, blue, yellow, and red. She was attached to CruDiv Five at the time.

At some point in 1935, the flags atop turrets 1 and 3 were painted out and a white “35" was painted atop Turret 1. (CruDiv Five marked its ship colors only on Turret 2 at that time).

In June 1935 Indianapolis reattached herself to CruDiv Six. As such, the Squadron flag should have been repainted atop Turret 3, but I have no photos to prove that this happened.

In November 1935 the Commander Cruisers, Scouting Force canceled the system for turret painting. (A February 1936 letter to ComScoFor would complain that “several ships” had not yet complied with the change order.) I’ve not yet found the orders explaining what the new turret markings were to be, but photos suggest the hull number was applied with the ships division and divisional position identified by the color of the number and the turret to which the number was applied. (I’ve found refs to specific documents, but haven’t yet found those docs in the Archives.)

On 10 August 1937 CinC US ordered a new turret identification scheme – the scheme now familiar as seen on the ships at Pearl Harbor. CruDiv Six was to have a black band on its forward turrets. Some ships would paint only Turret 2, others would paint turrets 1 and 2. The top of Turret 3 was painted in the individual ship color. In August 1938 CruDiv Six clarified that the forward black stripe was to be 8 feet wide on both turrets and the individual ship color was to be painted as a 12-foot-wide disc on the after turret; both colors remained black for Indianapolis.

In April 1940, when Indianapolis became the fifth ship in CruDiv Six, the disc color on Turret 3 was changed to Willow Green. The markings remained unchanged through December, when she moved to CruDiv Four. At this time the forward turret stripes became blue, with the Turret 3 disc once again painted black.

PORTLAND

Commander, Scouting Force, records show that Portland wore yellow atop Turret 2 in September 1934. This was totally appropriate for the fourth ship in CruDiv Five (with the divisional marking on Turret 2 and the color yellow designating the fourth ship in the division) which had been Portland’s assignment in most of 1933. However, in November 1933 Portland became the third ship in that division, and the turret color should have changed to white.

(A ship’s position within a division depended on the seniority of her commander. Since every command change could affect the turret color, Scouting Force had recommended that the turret colors be locked, regardless of the ship’s ranking – this is evidence that such a rule was enacted, even if briefly. The aircraft section assigned to each ship continued to change with the ship’s divisional position.)

On 7 July 1934 Portland became the third ship in CruDiv Six, a position she held until April 1935. For that period her turret marking should have been white paint atop Turret 3, though I’ve not found evidence that the change was made.

In April 1935 she returned to CruDiv Five as the second ship - in that position she should have carried red paint on Turret 2 - but again I’ve not proof the change was made.

By November 1935 the turret markings were ordered removed and the new system of hull number markings (noted above) appears to have been substituted.

At the time of the August 1937 introduction of a third turret marking system, Portland was the third ship in CruDiv Five – a position she held through the end of 1940. The stripes on forward turrets would have been Yellow and the paint on Turret 3 would have been Blue.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,



Dana
Post Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:02 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
I believe there was a Loose Cannon conversion hull. Otherwise you can get a 1942 Portland with ModelMonkey 3D printed parts and cutting the hull on your own.

Matt
Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:33 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
no problem.
Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:52 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Thank you Dick, Steve,Tracy, and David! :thumbs_up_1:
This helps a lot!!

Bob Pink :wave_1:
Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:08 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
http://www.3dmodelparts.com/1-700-mk-28 ... ctors-12x/
http://www.3dmodelparts.com/1-700-us-na ... red&page=2
http://www.3dmodelparts.com/1-700-us-na ... red&page=1
Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:14 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Steve wrote:
3D Models


Linkage
Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:11 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Quincy wrote:
What type of Fire Control Directors did the Indy have after her April 1942 refit? And also, where can you get them for 1/700 scale?

Any help would be most appreciated. :wave_1:


Bob Pink :wave_1:


3D Models has the only Mk33/28 directors (open and closed) in 700 sale that I am aware of!
Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:14 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Main directors were MK-27's. AA directors were open-topped MK-33's.
Post Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:05 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
What type of Fire Control Directors did the Indy have after her April 1942 refit? And also, where can you get them for 1/700 scale?

Any help would be most appreciated. :wave_1:




Bob Pink :wave_1:
Post Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:12 pm
  Post subject:  USS Indianapolis Information  Reply with quote
I am building the Trumpeter 1945 USS Indianapolis 1/350. I intended to build her right out of the box as this is an interim project
while waiting for another kit to arrive. The Indy deserves my best effort so I have strayed from just OOTB and been adding details that
are not part of the kit.
I hope someone can help me with a rigging question. The mainmast (aft) shows flag halyards coming off the yard but I haven't been
able to find where those halyards terminate. It would be in the area near the base of the crane.
Any assistance is appreciated.
Thanks
Post Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:48 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Great info there Jeff. So even the other cruisers that were in Ms11 had unpainted decks? That's interesting. Guess i need to see if I can get the deck off my New Orleans and put a natural wood one on.
Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:37 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Here's a couple more testimonials from crew members
A SUNDAY SHATTERED
Lawrence Kotula Vol. I, pp. 23-24

(Ed. note: This is taken from an article which appeared in the Sioux City Journal, Dec. 7, 1991)

"I was in the Hawaiian waters out of Pearl Harbor on the heavy cruiser USS Portland. We had Life Magazine photographers on board to take pictures, etc. of "Life Aboard Ship" under wartime conditions. Well, they did not have to pretend.

"About zero ten hundred (can't remember the time for sure) word was announced over the speaker system Pearl Harbor was attacked, then no further word. I thought it was a show for life Magazine. We were sent to general quarters to prepare for action but we still did not believe it was the real thing. All at once I heard the whistling sound of bombs. (I thought it was the boatswain's whistle for further word on what was going on.) Here it was two bombs dropped on us from high altitude. They missed off the starboard quarter by 100 yards. We never did find out who dropped them. Later we figured it must have been friendly planes retaliating from one of our bases thinking we were Japanese.


THE THINGS I REMEMBER Vol. II, pp. 41-43
Kenneth Joy

I REMEMBER:

Reporting aboard the USS Portland at 1900 hours, January 17, 1941 with a small group of recruits. Lt. Bidell chose 5 of us for F Division. Worked in Sky Control and got my first "blackeye" as a rangefinder in turret one in February.

Commander Coleman - our new Exec - reporting aboard on February 15, 1941.

My first introduction to the PEAK TANKS.

At sea with Task Force 12 on the 7th of December when war was declared. Throwing all that loose gear over the side.

The "Life" photographers that we had on board that we transferred to DesComRon #1 for safe passage back to Pearl.

The terrible devastation we saw at Pearl as we reentered the harbor late in the afternoon of the 13th.


Rick E. Davis unearthed a list of the ships that had painted decks prior to the attack. USS Helena was the only Cruiser on that list. USS Nevada and USS Tennessee were the only Battleships with painted decks.
Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:59 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Jeff, thanks for the link. I just realized I'm pretty dumb, I already had that photo saved to my computer. What this means for my future build is unpainted decks. Would it be safe to assume Indy had unpainted decks as well?
Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:45 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
Hi Abram,
That series of photos were taken aboard USS Portland on Dec. 7th, 1941 and chronicles very nicely the events that happened that day just before and just after the announcement of the attack reached the ship.
There are a few photos showing the crew in the process of painting the decks after the announcement.
Here is one of them.
http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/a1785d81da532fb8_large
The book "Sweet Pea at War" by William Thomas Generous JR. chronicles what happened that day as well and it is amazing how much the LIFE photos match perfectly with his account of the day.
Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
I'm sorry if this has been covered in the thread already, but does anyone know if Portland and/or Indy had painted decks in 1941 while wearing MS1? In the Life series of photos on Navsource it looks like Portland might have had painted decks, but I'm not sure if its that or just really dirty.

Here's on the stern, the deck looks dry and maybe painted?
Attachment:
Portland1941.jpg
Portland1941.jpg [ 186.08 KiB | Viewed 915 times ]


Here's looking out over the bow, the capstans and anchor chain area looks the same color as the hull, its hard for me to tell if the deck is painted or not, but it does look dry in this photo (also notice the clear recognition stripes on the forward turrets, from what I've been able to discern by looking through documentation on Tracy's website they should be yellow(?))
Attachment:
PortlandDec1941H.jpg
PortlandDec1941H.jpg [ 229.54 KiB | Viewed 915 times ]


The only pictures of Indy I can find of the same period are shots taken from Portland with her at a distance, which doesn't really help with the deck question, but you can see the false bow wave.
Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:11 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
It's possible but not likely that the turrets were repainted in theater. The rafts should be painted to match the color of the surface they are mounted on, but photos on her Navsource (this one and this one) definitely show something darker. I would bet that perhaps they were originally on the deck and were 20-B Deck Blue, but 5-N Navy Blue is also a contender.
Post Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:51 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Indianapolis & USS Portland (CA) fans  Reply with quote
I've started my first 1/350 model in around 40 years with the Academy Indianapolis. I normally do 1/700. I'm using this kit as practice before I convert Trumpeter's 1942 San Francisco to Astoria in 1/350.

The engineering and fit on this kit is absolutely amazing. Fit is superb, no flash, and I was elated to find enough parts to build either of her last two refits. For PE I've got the GMM set and just to be different I've decided to go with the December 1944 fit. My main source of information is Warship Pictorial Indianapolis & Portland.

The photos of her leaving California leave me with a couple of questions. The turret and barrel tops are 5-H, not 20-B as I expect and there are no rafts on top of two of the turrets. The kit turrets have holes to position lots of rafts. The squared rafts on the sides of the turrets are not 5-H but a dark color, maybe 5-N?

So my questions: 1) do I leave the turrets overall 5-H or were they painted as they got in theater? 2) did they add rafts on top later? and 3) what color for the rafts on the sides?
Post Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:09 pm
  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

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