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


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 destroyers are presented here; Measures 31, 32 and 33 referred to dark, medium and light color combinations.


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
Destroyer designs
Name Description Pattern sheet Photo Known examples
MS-32/1D for Gridley (DD-380) and Bagley (DD-386) classes
Starboard

Port
Mugford
Bagley, Helm, Mugford, Ralph Talbot
for Sims (DD-409) class Port and starboard Anderson
for Fletcher (DD-445) class Port and starboard Taylor, Mullaney, Bush, Hoel, Hall, Halligan, Newcomb
MS-32/3D for Wickes (DD-75) and Clemson (DD-186) classes Port and starboard Lea, Badger, Breckinridge, Barney, DuPont, Bernadou, Cole, Bainbridge
for Porter (DD-356) class Port and starboard Selfridge, Moffett, Phelps
for Mahan (DD-364) class Port
Starboard
Downes
for Somers (DD-381) class Somers, Warrington, Sampson, Davis, Jouett
for Benham (DD-397) class Mayrant, Trippe, Rhind
for Sims (DD-409) class Russell, Wainwright
for Benson (DD-421) and Gleaves (DD-423) classes
Starboard

Port
Farenholt
Benson, Mayo, Niblack, Charles F. Hughes, Livermore, Eberle, Plunkett, Lansdowne, Mervine, Quick, Farenholt, Doyle, Endicott, McCook, Frankford, Kendrick, Laub, MacKenzie, Baldwin, Thompson, Cowie, Knight, Butler, Tillman, Rodman, Harding
alternate for Benson (DD-421) and Gleaves (DD-423) classes Buchanan, Kearny, Lardner, Boyle, Champlin
for Fletcher (DD-445) class Radford, Haraden, Paul Hamilton, Hickox, McNair
for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class Ingraham, Cooper, English, Walke, Laffey, O'Brien, Meredith, DeHaven, Mansfield, Hyman, Shannon, Adams, Brush, J. William Ditter
MS-31/6D for Farragut (DD-348) class Dewey, Hull, Dale, Aylwin
for Benson (DD-421) class Woodworth, Bailey, Meade
MS-3_/6D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Pattern sheet, MS-31-32-33 6D for Fletcher class.jpg
Colhoun
Jenkins (MS-32), Capps (MS-31), Ross (MS-32), Rowe (MS-31), Twiggs (MS-32), Bearss (MS-32), John Hood (MS-32), Monssen (MS-31), Colhoun (MS-32)
MS-31/7D for Farragut (DD-348) class Farragut, Monaghan
MS-32/7D for Gamble (DM-15) class Gamble, Preble, Sicard, Pruitt
for Chandler (DMS-9) class Dorsey, Hovey, Hamilton
MS-3_/7D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Pattern sheet, MS-3 7D for Fletcher class.jpg
Waller
Waller (MS-32), Pringle (MS-32), Evans (MS-31), Porterfield (MS-32), Callaghan (MS-31), Cassin Young (MS-32)
for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
MS-31/9D for Fletcher (DD-445) class Saufley, Van Valkenbugh, Cotton, Hopewell, Uhlmann
MS-32/9D for Dunlap (DD-384) class Dunlap, Fanning
for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
Pattern sheet, MS-32 9D for Sumner class.jpg
Ault
Moale, Charles S. Perry, Ault, Waldron, John W. Weeks, Wallace L. Lind, Lyman K. Swenson, Maddox, Blue, Taussig
MS-3_/10D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Boyd
Daly (MS-32), Boyd (MS-31), Stembel (MS-32), Bullard (MS-31), Kidd (MS-31)
MS-31/11D for Sims (DD-409) and other single-stack classes
Pattern sheet, MS-31 11D for Sims class.jpg
Stack
Ellet, Stack, Sterett, Hughes
for Fletcher (DD-445) class Fullam, Watts, Killen, Metcalf, Hale, Chauncey, Jarvis, Gregory, Rooks
MS-32/13D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Pattern sheet, MS-32 13D for Fletcher class.jpg
Morrison
Hudson, Stanly, Anthony, Kimberly, Morrison, Prichett, Robinson, Sproston, Cogswell, Knapp, Bennion, Richard P. Leary, McGowan, Picking, Halsey Powell, Norman Scott, Irwin, Preston, Porter
MS-3_/14D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Pattern sheet, MS-3 14D for Fletcher class.jpg
William D. Porter
Terry (MS-31), Wadsworth (MS-32), Aulick (MS-32), Charles Ausburne (MS-32), McKee (MS-32), Wickes (MS-32), William D. Porter (MS-32), Lewis Hancock (MS-32), Marshall (MS-32)
MS-31/16D for Fletcher (DD-445) class Leutze, Isherwood, Hailey, Smalley, Stoddard, Claxton, Dyson, Young, Hart, Braine, Hunt, Cushing, Little
for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
Pattern sheet, MS-31 16D for Sumner class.jpg
Haynsworth
Allen M. Sumner, Haynsworth, Hank, Gainard, Barton, Laffey, Collett, Harry F. Bauer, Tolman, Harry E. Hubbard, Lowry
MS-32/16D for Benson (DD-421) and Gleaves (DD-423) classes Meade, Edwards, Thorn
MS-32/18D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Port

Starboard
Luce
Foote, Luce, Heywood L. Edwards
MS-31/21D for Dahlgren (DD-187) class
USS Thornton (AVD-11).jpg
Thornton
for Fletcher (DD-445) class Ringgold, Conway, Cony, Healy
MS-32/21D for Fletcher (DD-445) class Beale, Twining, Bradford, John D. Henley, Longshaw, Burns, Albert W. Grant, Stockham
MS-31/22D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Howorth
Howorth, Wedderburn
MS-32/22D for Porter (DD-364) class Selfridge
MS-31/23D for Mahan (DD-364) class
Smith
Mahan, Cummings, Drayton, Lamson, Flusser, Reid, Conyngham, Smith
for Fletcher (DD-445) class O'Bannon, McCord, Wren, Bryant, Hickox
MS-32/23D for Benson (DD-421) class Frazier, Kalk
MS-32/24D for Fletcher (DD-445) class
Ammen
Nicholas, Ammen, Hazlewood, Heermann
MS-31/25D for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
Henry A. Wiley
Borie, Walke, Purdy, Massey, Robert H. Smith, Thomas E. Fraser, Henry A. Wiley, Shea, Gwin
MS-33a/27D for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752).jpg
Alfred A. Cunningham
MS-33a/28D for Gearing (DD-710) class
Southerland
Gearing, Frank Knox, Southerland, Chevalier
MS-33a/30D for Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
USS John R. Pierce (DD-753).jpg
John R. Pierce
Adapted patterns
MS-32/11A
(aircraft carrier)
adapted to Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class
Pattern sheet, MS-32 11A for Sumner class.jpg
Aaron Ward
Compton, Soley, Mannert L. Abele, Drexler, Samuel N. Moore, Putnam, Willard Keith, Lindsey, Aaron Ward
MS-31/2C
(cruiser)
adapted to Fletcher (DD-445) class Fletcher, Converse, Spence, Thatcher, Yarnall, Harrison, Charles J. Badger, Benham
MS-32/2C
(cruiser)
adapted to Sims (DD-409) and other single-stack classes Patterson, Morris

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