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

    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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