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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:53 pm 
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I'm still new here, so hello to all. Something interesting I noticed in this picture is that the barrels of both the 8 and 5 inch guns seem to have a wavy dark-light camouflage design on them. I could be wrong about this, but that seems like an intentional pattern, especially because the USS Parrott is sporting a similar design wavy on her torpedo tubes during her refit in July 1942. I've never seen that on any other USN ships that I'm aware of, so that might be an interesting Asiatic fleet thing. If this is true, the wavy pattern of the dark-light colors on the turret sides would also seem intentional and not just wear

Also, this could be completely wrong, but is that circle on the 8 inch turret top weathering in the paint from a life raft which was discarded as a part of damage control efforts as a result of her bombing, or a '0' from a 30 on her turret? I'm guessing it is the former, however, I figured I'd throw it out there, as I know some USN cruisers and BBs carried turret numbers into 1942

Full picture of Parrott here http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/pix1/0521825.jpg


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Houston Camo.PNG
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Parrott Camo.PNG
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:01 pm 
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That great (altho' grim) photo of CA-30 had existed for many years in a crude high-contrast print that looked like a 5th generation copy, or something. I had purchased a hardcopy of it ~25 years ago or so. This excellent clear image was rediscovered by the naval historian Robt Stern in CL-12 files at the Natl archives in Wash. about 7-8 yrs ago.

For those who are unaware of the story, that 250kg IJN bomb nicked an arm on the port side of her aft AA 'birdbath' then hit the tripod mainmast & tore through it, passing through the searchlight platform where it bisected an unfortunate, and prone, sailor taking cover there before clipping the aft radio room & came out to explode just above the deck next to Turret 3 which was swung out to observe for any potential torpedo bombers...Hot fragments pierced the thin metal side of the gunhouse and ignited the 8" powder bags...
A large steel plate was located later in Tjilatjap and brought to the ship--by sheer manual labor--and welded into place over the sizeable hole in the deck.

There are many other photos of the damaged CL-12 from the Tjilatjap series available...not sure where I have seen them. Maybe on fold3.com?
I also have seen an unpublished photo of the damaged aft deck/stern of CL-12 at Tjilatjap, (not the famous one w/her Dutch RNN liaison officer atop the gunhouse) but have no idea where it came from...

More photos do exist of CA-30 after she was repainted at Cavite, w/some of the best of them showing her at Darwin at the time of the mid-Feb '42 Timor Relief Convoy operation.
There is also a very poor quality image taken of her from another ship in that convoy that I have seen, but it is pretty rough.

RE those paintjob observations: I don't believe this was paint you're seeing atop the gun barrels, and the four-piper paint on the torpedo tubes was not from the Asiatic Fleet period, AFAIK, but later on.

HTH


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:00 am 
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I would be very interested in seeing the picture of USS Marblehead you are referring to, but I think that would probably need to go in the Omaha class thread. Also you are correct about Fold.3 having the rest of the pictures from Marblehead's damage report.

As for the gun barrel colors, if that is not a wavy paint job, then what would it be? On the 8 inch guns at least the dark color appears to be the exact same color as the paint on the turret top. That looks like paint to me (I could be completely wrong about this though, I just don't currently see what else that could be). You're definitely correct the Parrott photo is not from the Asiatic Fleet period, sorry if I was not sufficiently clear about that. My thought was she may have already had that wavy design from the Asiatic fleet period and merely retained it (That is just speculation though).

Here's a better zoom of the areas in question


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Houston.PNG
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Last edited by GregoryC on Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:01 am 
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The larger caliber gun barrels were painted deck gray on top and haze gray on the bottom. This was after the decision to paint the lovely teak decks deck gray. I suppose the Captain or crew - likely the Bosun Mates - could personalize the design and make it a bit wavy along the edges if they wanted to. It would be easier to paint than a straight line.

I have attached a photo of the USS Oklahoma City CL-91 late in the war showing the two tone gun barrels.

Phil


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Fuji from OK City Aug 1945 1024.jpg
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:26 am 
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The 12" rifles on Alaska were painted with a regular and intentional wavy pattern with deck gray on the top and matching gray to the superstructure in her deployment to the Pacific.

Cheers: Tom


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:50 pm 
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1) The battered Marbly came in to Tjilatjap around 1500 hrs that day (when this pic was taken), after CA-30 had already buried her own dead that morning. On Houston it was recorded that they had had some rainfall, too, and that definitely shows in the photo also...

2) I do believe those shadows atop the gunhouse are from the destroyed life-rafts, and not from any kind of official markings. Houston didn't have a number painted on her turrets AFAIK, but did still carry the Fleet Problem markings on them in April 1939 when she made her third & final visit to her namesake city.

3) No official or anecdotal evidence of CA-30 painting herself on any meaningful scale once the war started. But, whatever she had been painted with just before the war--as in her final yard time (Nov. 1941 at NYd Cavite)--it would have involved some application of the problematic, so-called 'Cavite Blue'.

HTH


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 8:20 pm 
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That looks like paint on the aft turret and barrels to me.

Looking at this picture, she was painted in something before her demise:
Attachment:
USSHoustonWarrego1.jpg
USSHoustonWarrego1.jpg [ 78.52 KiB | Viewed 623 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:31 pm 
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Right, she was painted...prior to the war. During the war? Not too much evidence of that at all.
Wavy lines of paint on her gun barrels? Not quite convinced yet.

But, I never say never; it's not entirely impossible, and an energetic researcher might still turn up something solid.

There were a number of early scratch-built models of CA-30 (long before kits; the original builder's model had an especially remarkable history in its own right), and many survivors saw them over the years. I was lucky enough to be with some of them on a few of those occasions, and never heard anybody say, "You know that's a beautiful model, but doggonit they forgot the wavy lines on the 8"gun barrels!"

This morning, I did locate one CA-30 survivor's interview in which he recalled painting the ship, "...including the deck, just before the war--darker gray..."
In fact, he provided the original photo below to the Navy many years ago.

And I'm tossing in an image of LANGLEY survivors on WHIPPLE (Feb 27, '42) which shows that the AF four-pipers didn't have wavy lines on their tubes...but, what is more intriguing is that it appears the funnel is deliberately half-painted (?)
Had not been aware of that before, and I do not know what to make of it...

HTH


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Langley survivors on Whipple.jpg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:25 pm 
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G-Opt wrote:
Right, she was painted...prior to the war. During the war? Not too much evidence of that at all.
Wavy lines of paint on her gun barrels? Not quite convinced yet.

But, I never say never; it's not entirely impossible, and an energetic researcher might still turn up something solid.

There were a number of early scratch-built models of CA-30 (long before kits; the original builder's model had an especially remarkable history in its own right), and many survivors saw them over the years. I was lucky enough to be with some of them on a few of those occasions, and never heard anybody say, "You know that's a beautiful model, but doggonit they forgot the wavy lines on the 8"gun barrels!"

This morning, I did locate one CA-30 survivor's interview in which he recalled painting the ship, "...including the deck, just before the war--darker gray..."
In fact, he provided the original photo below to the Navy many years ago.

First, sorry about the delay in responding, I've been a bit busy as of late. From everything I have heard, I do not believe that Houston was painted once the war started (aside from her decks being possibly painted blue, I don't have the source for that on me though). I'm pretty sure her quasi Measure 1 camouflage was added in November 1941 during her overhaul from everything that I have read, and she just carried that until her loss.

Also, with all due respect (and they deserve a lot of it!) to the survivors of Houston, I don't find their lack of recollection of the wavy camouflage on the guns very compelling evidence of the guns not having those wavy lines. Memory is unfortunately a more fluid thing than we like to admit at times, and its very easy to forget minor things like that, especially if you had been on the ship for a year or two and those wavy lines would have been added only 2-3 months before her loss. A great example of this is the shields on the 40mm Bofors on the De Ruyter. The the shields were added in December 1941, and when asked about them, the officer in charge of the 40mms denied the shields existed, until he was shown a photo of them which jogged his memory into remembering them. Thus, I would not be very surprised if a crewmember of the Houston, after three and a half years of horrific treatment as a POW and then several decades as a civilian, forgot a minor detail about the paint on the 8 inch gun barrels which they only had for a very short time. Obviously if there was no other information regarding this, I would certainly just go with whatever a crewmember said was the case, however, we have a photo in this case, and those don't change.

I suppose it could be water from the earlier rain you mentioned evaporating from the barrels causing that effect possibly. But I am unfamiliar with water ever evaporating off of a cylinder in such a consistent wavy pattern, and especially not to produce such a clear color change. Given it happens on both the 5 inch and 8 inch barrels, I'm still more inclined to think that is a purposeful thing, to the point I'm pretty convinced it is, though certainly I'm not going to say this is definitely 100% the case.


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And I'm tossing in an image of LANGLEY survivors on WHIPPLE (Feb 27, '42) which shows that the AF four-pipers didn't have wavy lines on their tubes...but, what is more intriguing is that it appears the funnel is deliberately half-painted (?)
Had not been aware of that before, and I do not know what to make of it...

HTH
I'd rather not get side tracked on the 4 pipers as it is off topic on this thread, but I would be interested in continuing talking about this on the thread in calling all destroyer fans. The Asiatic fleet destroyers seem to have some interesting things going on in the photos (USS Stewart's camouflage pattern for an example) I have seen of them from the time, and I think that would be a good discussion to continue there. Great spot on that funnel by the way, I had never noticed that before, that's really interesting!


Last edited by GregoryC on Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:35 pm 
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Also apologies if this was already posted earlier in the thread, but here's another image of the Houston showing her camouflage from 1942. Its certainly more grainy, but again shows the Measure 1ish (IIRC Cavite Naval Yard did their own variation of what the Pacific fleet was doing at the time) type camouflage Houston was wearing


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800px-USS_Houston_(CA-30)_seen_through_the_sight_of_an_Australian_102_mm_gun_on_18_February_1942 (1).jpg
800px-USS_Houston_(CA-30)_seen_through_the_sight_of_an_Australian_102_mm_gun_on_18_February_1942 (1).jpg [ 55.83 KiB | Viewed 458 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 11:21 am 
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The questions re CA-30's paintjob resurface every few years.

The more I look at it again & the more I think about it, I now wonder if this wasn't blast/fire damage. I still do not believe it was a deliberate camo paint scheme. I have some photos of CA-30 being repainted (well before Nov. 1941) and there's nothing resembling that, nor was there anything remotely like it in the Asiatic Fleet from the immediate prewar or NEI periods.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:07 pm 
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G-Opt wrote:
The questions re CA-30's paintjob resurface every few years.

The more I look at it again & the more I think about it, I now wonder if this wasn't blast/fire damage. I still do not believe it was a deliberate camo paint scheme. I have some photos of CA-30 being repainted (well before Nov. 1941) and there's nothing resembling that, nor was there anything remotely like it in the Asiatic Fleet from the immediate prewar or NEI periods.

I don't think that blast/fire damage could be responsible for that. That would have required the blast to manage to perfectly discolor the entire turret roof and 8 inch gun barrels the exact same color, or for a fire to have burned on the turret top and barrels at the same intensity for the same amount of time on both the turret and barrels, and that seems too unlikely for me to believe, fire usually doesn't behave like that, especially when it is unintentional. I don't see why that could not have been an addition to her camouflage during her November 1941 refit. It seems pretty clear to me that the turret top and barrels are the same color and the turret top even has the circles in the paint from the wear caused by the life rafts that were there. That wear to me indicates paint on the turret top (as that is consistent with how paint wears), and as the color on the barrels is the same color as the color of the turret roof, it seems to me that it is intentional paintwork on both the turret and the barrels.
Fire/blast damage does not fit that well, and that doesn't look like water to me, so I don't see what that could be other than intentional paint, especially as the 5 inch gun seems to have a similar pattern


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