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 Post subject: YMS camouflage pattern
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:09 am 
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Hello everybody :smallsmile:

I shall be interested to have moreover ample information on the type of camouflage of the YMS minesweepers YMS-21 and 44 such as you can see them on the joined pictures.

Image

Image

Do you know a drawing of the camouflage pattern and references of colours?.

Many thanks of advance!

Alain


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:34 pm 
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The YMS units in these images are painted in Ms12R(mod) which should be 5-N and 5-O on the hull and 5-O and 5-H on the superstructure.

There were no "standard" patterns produced for ships painted in the Ms12R(mod) scheme. It does appear that each Navy Yard had a near common pattern "type" that they applied. But, it wasn't exact from ship to ship. The pattern could be a mirror image on one side to the other side. But, that isn't always so.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:33 am 
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Many thanks Rick fot these informations!

You mean that there is no drawing of this type of camouflage, so Ms12R, for these ships in particular or then in a general way?
Thank you very much for your precision!

Best regards

Alain


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:38 am 
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.... There were no "standard" patterns produced for ships painted in the Ms12R(mod) scheme. ...

There are no known Ms 12R(mod) pattern drawings. At least none that many researchers have yet to found. If there were any Ms 12R(mod) pattern drawings, they likely were locally generated by the USN Yard or by the private builder for new built ships.

The Ms 12R or some call the Ms 12mod, I use Ms 12R(mod) to stop being told I'm wrong, :heh: came into being in November 1941. There were NO STANDARD pattern designs for Ms 12R(mod) directed and as can be seen in photos, none existed.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Some clarification/expansion to Rick's post.

The foundation for Measure 12 (R) / mod was actually in SHIPS-2 Revision 1, finalized in September of 1941 and released to the fleets in October. Chapter 2 had a section on "Course Deception by Painted Splotches with a further discussion in chapter 3 and four examples printed on a sheet of paper. As Rick said, there were no actual design sheets that survived. Some shipyards painted markedly similar patterns on ships and we can see chalk lines with notations for colors during yard work, so it is obvious that some documentation existed at some point, but it was most likely at the Ship Yard level and was never turned over to higher-level commands or the National Archives.

Evaluations of this camouflage showed that forces tended to paint the splotches too small - they lost "resolution" at distances enemy combatants would be viewing them from and blended into a single color. The randomness meant that the patterns usually did not take ships' structures and shadows into account and did not adequately disguise class or course of the vessel. This is one one reason why the US Navy created standardized patterns latter from a central camouflage division that understood camouflage concepts and had the time and abilities to test different patterns on models. Other Navies did not do this and continued to let local commands (squadrons or individual captains) design their camouflage with somewhat more questionable results.

Measure 12 (R) / mod is a fascinating subject both visually and historically and I wish we had more documentation on it.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:04 am 
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To continue the discussion. This sequence of documents points to a reality of how long it took for directives to become real USN actions, particularly during the peacetime. In my research of USN destroyers I have constantly seen how long it could take for the actions specified in a HQ (say CNO) directive to be implemented. If the directive involved something like a change in authorized armament, the CNO would send out the directive, at some point after that BuShips would send out a directive specifying HOW this was to be done. Normally what happened after that were a series of letters requesting clarification and replied answers. One action to speed things up that I saw happening during the war, was that directives were communicated via phone to specific yards telling them that "hey this is what will be coming in writing, so start doing it now".

In this discussion, the change to USN Camouflage directed in September 1941, didn't see an actual direction for how Ms 12R(mod) was to be applied, wasn't sent out to the Atlantic Fleet at large until November 1941. If you look at enough photos of ships painted in Ms 12R(mod), you see that the instructions were interrupted differently by the various USN yards and builders (or more properly their USN managers).

Actually some yards changed what was considered to be the "desirable" Ms 12R(mod) more than once during the period of November 1941 to August 1942 when the Ms 18/21/22 schemes started to be applied.

As an example, Boston Navy Yard started a massive repainting of ships passing through their yard (BosNY was one of the main yards repairing and modifying destroyers employed in escorting North Atlantic convoys) from the original Ms 12 and a whole series of other experimental camo schemes to this "new" Ms 12R(mod). The scheme applied in December 1941 and January 1942 (at least during those months) was what I started to call the "Jigsaw" patten in my notes. Then to my surprise I found this pattern called the "Jigsaw" pattern in USN documentation! But, very few available photos show this pattern. During late 1941 into the first couple of months in 1942, it wasn't standard practice to taken photos to document camo scheme changes. Which makes this 1 January 1942 dated photo shows USS WILKES (DD-441) and USS PC-471 at Boston Navy Yard (cropped from the background of another ship being built) so interesting. Note that both are painted in the "Jigsaw" pattern.

Image

A couple of other destroyers photographed with this pattern include these.

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Image

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At some point it was decided that this "Jigsaw" pattern wasn't effective and the pattern that Boston Navy Yard was changed. So by at least March 1942, Boston Navy Yard changed their "standard pattern" to look like the images below of USS EDISON (DD-439) and others. The earliest photo I have seen painted at BosNY to this pattern, is of USS KEARNY (DD-432) dated 31 March 1942.

Image

Image

Boston Navy Yard continued to apply Ms 12R(mod) in this same "general" pattern into August 1942. Here is USS COWIE (DD-632) on 5 August 1942, and from what I can tell from photos was the LAST Ms 12R(mod) painted destroyer at BosNY. As you can see, the patterns don't match exactly, but the similarity is there.

Image


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:08 am 
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Tracy White wrote:
…. This is one one reason why the US Navy created standardized patterns latter from a central camouflage division that understood camouflage concepts and had the time and abilities to test different patterns on models.


Dear Tracy/Rick,

"latter"?

When was this USN central camouflage division established?

Best wishes


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:06 am 
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The camouflage division existed in some form before the war started, but I don't have any good information as to composition and staffing levels. I know of some key players. Captain Henry Ingram shows up issuing directives in 1941 and later approves some of the design sheets, but also was associated with the Radio Division so I suspect he merely served in an administrative capacity.

It was definitely an institution, however - Charles Bittinger and Everett Warnerwho had both served as Camoufluer's in the US Navy in WWI came back and Dayton Brown came aboard as well and later headed the division and wrote the 1952 and 1962 series of camouflage instructions for the US Navy. I've looked through the US Navy Bureau of Ships camouflage files but haven't found anything "above" that which might describe or track the actual composition of the people who actually "did" camouflage for the Navy in WWII. I'm slowly working on a USN camouflage book and it's not something I've seen definitive information on before, so it's of definite interest to find more on. We certainly have more original documents than we did before, but learning how and when the Navy learned and changed philosophies would be a great thing to add to try and keep the lessons learned preserved.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Mr. White

In light of your quotation from Barbara Tuchman, do you have evidence to back up this statement?

"Other Navies did not do this and continued to let local commands (squadrons or individual captains) design their camouflage with somewhat more questionable results."

Maurice


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:20 pm 
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Thanks Tracy.

The RN first used model ships to test camouflage schemes in WW1.

What I was working towards was trying to establish when in WW2 the USN first did so. The first documented RN WW2 case was in August 1940 to test a potential scheme for HMS Illustrious.

Various USN officers visited our Naval Camouflage Section at Leamington Spa early in WW2 and it would be interesting to know if what they saw there (models, viewing tank etc) influenced the work of the USN Central Camouflage Division.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:33 am 
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maurice de saxe wrote:
In light of your quotation from Barbara Tuchman, do you have evidence to back up this statement?


Forgive me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that both the German and Royal Navies largely left the design and implementation of *pattern* or dazzle camouflage up to local commanders. The paints were developed at a central command (barring cases such as Mountbatten Pink), but the actual lines and patterns were decided upon by ships captains or group commanders. I don't have a copy of an English book on Italian camouflage to read yet.

dick wrote:
What I was working towards was trying to establish when in WW2 the USN first did so. The first documented RN WW2 case was in August 1940 to test a potential scheme for HMS Illustrious.


Well, it was something the USN did in WWI and since Bittinger and Warner worked on those systems I would imagine the models were used again "immediately" when the USN started working towards official designs for pattern camouflage. I'm still hoping to find a cache of documents that has internal communications, but so far all of the source documents at the US National Archives I've found are between the Bureau of ships and other entities, nothing internal. I haven't hit the Chief of Naval Operations Files yet to see if there is any sort of summary or progress report series, but the records and finding aids are a mess from what I've been told and with only a couple of weeks on site per year and a couple of other projects ongoing, my time has been limited to little forays here and there when waiting on other pulls to come out.

Could you drop me an email at whitet@blarg.net? Given our respective interests I suspect we would benefit from some "back channel" connections.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:05 am 
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Hi Tracy,

I am sure dick will give you a much more comprehensive account, but it seems that camouflage design was at local level only for a short time in WW2 for the RN.

Larger ships had designs prepared for them centrally and upon instruction from the Admiralty. Requests for specific designs were made as and when it became known that a ship was going to have an opportunity to repaint, or was changing assignment etc.

A big list design job numbers and the corresponding ships has been found. Alas the design sheets are not preserved with them :(

To simplify this for smaller ships of which there were many, CAFO679/42 was issued containing standard designs for destroyers and smaller ships. This was recycled and expanded in May 1943 as CB3098 which presented a greatly increased set of designs for the new B&G series paints. CB3098 was reissued again in early 1945 updated to show the standard designs for all ship types, the most well known such standard design in it was "Scheme A" which featured the darker rectangular panel on the hull of an otherwise overall lighter paint tone in B20 and G45 respectively.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:51 am 
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Dear Tracy,

I think the RN WW2 story is rather more complex than the USN story. In summary you are largely correct until 1941 for ships that did adopt patterned camouflage, especially for the Alexandria-based Mediterranean Fleet. But from January 1941 “Admiralty” disruptive designs start to emerge from the Naval Camouflage Section at Leamington Spa and these progressively replaced the early ship-grown efforts by (off the top of my head) about mid-1942. I am sure there will be the odd exception - I have read that some ships became quite superstitious about changing their scheme from one that was perceived to have been “lucky” for them!

In parallel, Western Approaches Command had been adopting the schemes of Peter Scott from late 1940 onwards, and late 1941 his work was being brought under Leamington’s wing too.

Designs were prepared based on tests on models in a viewing tank with lighting simulating various weather conditions. Various laboratory-style tests were conducted to assess the best tones of paint for each possible weather condition. Once in use, the designers then went up in aircraft and to sea in ships to conduct "field" observations of their designs and to incorporate lessons learnt in new designs.

What perhaps gives the impression of a free-for-all 1941 onwards is the sheer number of different official designs. Until the introduction of the late war Standard Scheme(s) in Autumn 1944:

a. Almost every large ship (cruiser and upwards) (and a few small ones too) had its own individual design prepared for it. There were just a handful of situations where an existing design was re-used by Leamington.

b. Different class designs for each class of small ship (destroyer downwards) were produced (ie not one design for all destroyers etc). But it did not stop there. For each class there were light/dark/intermediate/Western Approaches variants of the class designs to be adopted by the ship according to its theatre/role. These class designs were sometimes tweaked by the individual ships. I have often speculated that this was to aid tactical identification within flotillas but I also have no doubt that the odd individual CO thought he knew better than the boffins or just wanted his ship to look a bit different.

c. There were then the emergency equivalent schemes of each of the above when you did not have time to paint to a disruptive design and which did apply irrespective of size of ship.

d. There were distinct phases to the style of the Admiralty disruptive designs as understanding grew. The early/1941 schemes (think of HMS Prince of Wales) were involved affairs of complex patterns of relatively small camouflage panels. As time went on you see simpler, bolder style schemes (think of HMS Anson). On top of that you have the impact of the change from the MS&B paint range era to the B&G paint range era that Jamie has referred to.

e. Short-term schemes for particular operations (usually close inshore) were also authorised using colours appropriate for the land background.

It leaves us today sometimes pulling our hair out trying to work out what colours a ship might have been painted in!

I'll e-mail you as suggested.

Best wishes


Last edited by dick on Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:39 am 
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A fascinating discussion of the efforts to develop the WWI disruptive camo schemes here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/d ... ate=020718


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:34 am 
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Hello to all, :wave_1:

Alors là !!
I would not have thought that my small question would have pulled a so important debate on this camouflage! :big_grin:
Thanks to you Dick and Tracy for your implication! And all the others also! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:

It is really a discussion of very high level and ..... i admit that my English has a little of evil to be followed! :sorry: :sorry: :sorry:

I enjoied reproducing on this drawing (even if there is a little of difference in the lines of the ship) the indicated references of color, I do not think of making a mistake :

Image

Thank you again in all for your participation

Alain


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:55 am 
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I believe you have a typographical error in your drawing. The area marked with "5-H" in blue pen should be "5-N" or Navy Blue.

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
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