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World War II US Navy dazzle camouflage measures 31, 32 and 33: aircraft carriers


Dazzle camouflage of warships was adopted by the U.S. Navy during World War II, following research at the Naval Research Laboratory. Dazzle consists in painting obtrusive patterns on vertical surfaces. Unlike some other forms of camouflage, dazzle works not by offering concealment but by making it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed and heading. Each ship's dazzle pattern was unique to make it more difficult for the enemy to recognize different classes of ships. The result was that a profusion of dazzle schemes were tried, and the evidence for their success was at best mixed.

Dazzle camouflage patterns used on aircraft carriers are presented here.


Typical color combinations
MS-31 MS-31a MS-32 MS-33 MS-33a Horizontals
Haze Gray 5-H Haze Gray 5-H Light Gray 5-L Light Gray 5-L Pale Gray 5-P Pale Gray 5-P Light Gray 5-L Ocean Gray 5-O
Ocean Gray 5-O Ocean Gray 5-O Dull Black 82 Ocean Gray 5-O Haze Gray 5-H Haze Gray 5-H Ocean Gray 5-O Deck Blue 20-B
Dull Black 82 Navy Blue 5-N Dull Black 82 Navy Blue 5-N Ocean Gray 5-O
Aircraft carrier designs
Name Description Pattern sheet Photo Known examples
MS-33/1A for USS Ranger (CV-4) Camouflage pattern sheet, MS-33 1A for USS Ranger.jpg USS Ranger (CV-4)-Tarn.jpg Ranger
MS-3_/3A for Essex (CV-9) class Pattern sheet, Measure 3 -3A for Essex class carriers.jpg Hornet Intrepid (MS-32), Hornet (MS-33), Franklin (MS-32),Hancock (MS-32)
MS-32/4A for Bogue (CVE-9) class USN pattern sheet MS32 4A for Bogue class CVEs.jpg Bogue Bogue, Card, Core, Croatan, Prince William
for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-32 4A for Casablanca class.jpg Mission Bay Mission Bay, Tripoli, Guadalcanal, Solomons, Kasaan Bay, Fanshaw Bay, Tulagi
MS-32/4Ab for USS Enterprise (CV-6) Pattern sheet, MS-33 4Ab for USS Enterprise.jpg USS Enterprise, 1944.jpg Enterprise
MS-3_/6A for Essex (CV-9) class Pattern Sheet, MS-3* 6A for Essex-class carriers.jpg Franklin Franklin, Bunker Hill
MS-33/7A for Independence (CVL-22) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 7A for Independence class.jpg San Jacinto Princeton, Cowpens, San Jacinto
MS-3_/8A for Independence (CVL-22) class Pattern sheet, MS-32-33 8A for Indenpendence class.jpg Bataan Independence (MS-33), Bataan (MS-32)
MS-32/9A for USS Long Island (CVE-1) Pattern sheet, MS-32 9A for Long Island.jpg USS Long Island (CVE-1) underway on 10 June 1944.jpg Long Island
MS-33/10A for Essex (CV-9) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 10A for Essex class.jpg Wasp and Yorktown Yorktown, Ticonderoga, Wasp, Shangri-La
for Sangamon (CVE-26) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 10A for Sangamon class escort carriers.jpg USS Chenango (CVE-28) Pacific.jpg Chenango
for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 10A for Casablanca class.jpg Petrof Bay Corregidor, Wake Island, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Nehenta Bay, Kadashan Bay, Petrof Bay, Shamrock Bay, Sitkoh Bay, Thetis Bay
MS-32/11A for USS Saratoga (CV-3) Pattern sheet, MS-32 11A for Saratoga.jpg USS Saratoga CV-3.jpg Saratoga
MS-32/12A for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-32 12A for Casablanca class.jpg Anzio Casablanca, Anzio, Manila Bay, Kitkun Bay, Steamer Bay, Cape Esperance, Takanis Bay
MS-33/14A for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 14A for Casablanca class.jpg Savo Island Natoma Bay, Savo Island, Saginaw Bay, Attu
MS-32/15A for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-32 15A for Casablanca class.jpg St. Lo St. Lo, Gambier Bay, Marcus Island, Ommaney Bay, Rudyerd Bay, Sargent Bay, Shipley Bay
MS-32/16A for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS 32 16A for Casablanca class.jpg Hollandia Makassar Strait, Makin Island, Hollandia, Roi
for Commencement Bay (CVE-105) class Commencement Bay Commencement Bay, Bairoko
MS-32/17A for Essex (CV-9) class Pattern sheet, MS 32a 17A for Essex class.jpg Bennington Randolph, Bennington, Bon Homme Richard, Antietam
MS-33/18A for Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 18A for Casablanca class.jpg Lunga Point Hoggatt Bay, Windham Bay, Lunga Point, Bismarck Sea, Salamaua, Bouganville
for Commencement Bay (CVE-105) class USS Block Island (CVE-106) in MS-33 18A camouflage.jpg Block Island
Adapted designs
MS-33/3D
(destroyer)
adapted to Independence (CVL-22) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 3D for Independence class.jpg Monterey Belleau Wood, Monterey
adapted to Casablanca (CVE-55) class Pattern sheet, MS-33 3D for Casablanca class.jpg
MS-32v6/10D
(destroyer)
adapted to Essex (CV-9) class USS Essex (CV-9) in MS 32 6-10D camouflage.jpg Essex

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Wikipedia

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