Battleship colors Pearl Harbor

I received an email from another group on some of the latest thinking on Battleship Colors at Pearl Harbor during the attack. It seems historians working the new memorial found archived documents that show Adm Kimmel ordered the ships painted medium blue with forward main turret tops painted to identify the ships to air spotters and aft turret tops painted to identify air squadrons embared as spotters during combat. Arizona would have had red for both sets. So there's supposedly a new more detailed Arizona model for the museum witth this paint job. Add this to an article a few years back on finding parts of a zero with factory finish in a museum - the plane was at the Pearl Harbor attack, and was a Caramel color. So now blue battleships, caramel colored Zeros (in one squadron). Hard to choose how to use this on future kits - who is right. There were reports of light brown Zeros so I can buy that - but nobody knew if our ships were grey or blue? - especially since that would have been such a major change - not to mention the colorful upper turrets. However looking at some black and white photos almost could convince you the turrets tops were a different color than the fronts. Like to hear some other opinions.

Val Kraut

Reply to
Val Kraut
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Memories, especially memories several decades old, are tricky things.

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Bright medium blue with red turret tops, and medium gray tops seems to be the current thinking on the USS Arizona colors.

Cheers,

Reply to
Bill Shatzer

Memories, especially memories several decades old, are tricky things.

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Bright medium blue with red turret tops, and medium gray mast tops seems to be the current thinking on the USS Arizona colors.

Cheers,

Reply to
Bill Shatzer

IIRC there was a Val at Pearl Harbor that had a yellow fuselage with the upper surfaces of the wings done in caramel color with green dappling. They had a side view of this one in Scale Modeler magazine back in the

1970s.

Pat

Reply to
Pat Flannery

And the FS number is.......?????

Craig

Reply to
crw59

A non-issue since WWII USN colors predate the FS system by a decade.

Reply to
Ron Smith

re: Those caramel colored zeros:

It seems this came from an article on relics in a museum. Trouble is after 60 years the light greenish gray in the paint had changed. There was a reddish brown primer used under the Greenish gray top coat and it is possible thet iron oxide primer pigment and perhaps zinc white pigment in the top coat interacted chemically.

Bill Shuey

Reply to
Bill Shuey

The color scheme seems to be a variation of Measure 11 with 5-S (Sea Blue) and 5-H (Haze Gray)[1].

I've no idea what the FSa numbers might be but Testors Model Master makes paints in both these colors - numbers 4240 and 4238 respectively. I'd suspect most of the other usual suspects make those colors as well.

You're on your own as to the red.

[1] Measure 11 called for 20-B (Deck Blue) decks while the Star Bulletin article indicates Arizona's decks were left unpainted in natural wood. It all other respects, the scheme seems to be Measure 11 with the addition of the color-coded turret tops.

Cheers,

Reply to
Bill Shatzer

that was my usual bad attempt at humor...

Craig

Reply to
crw59

I am reading Paul Stilwell's Battleship Arizona an Illustrated History and eye witness reports are quote" from Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class Milton Hurst returned in November (no date) He was struck by the contrast he returned to on the Arizona she was no longer the light gray all over of peace time color scheme, up to the level of her bridge,the hull and superstructure were painted a dark gray, only the foretop,maintop and tops of the tripod masts were still light gray," this seems to contradict what the archives say?

Reply to
Daryl

Not necessarily. What you're describing is Measure 1 (or perhaps Measure 5) which was first authorized in January, '41.

The Measure 11 scheme, with the Sea Blue replacing the Dark Gray, was authorized in September, '41.

Arizona might well have received the Measure 1 scheme sometime prior to Hurst's return in November and still have been repainted in the Measure

11 scheme before to 12/7/41.

In early November, '41, Arizona was in dry-dock at Pearl Harbor for several weeks following a collision with USS Oklahoma. The dry-dock stay would have been a perfect opportunity to repaint the ship with the recently authorized Measure 11 camouflage scheme.

Cheers,

Reply to
Bill Shatzer

The P.H. survivor my brother spoke with was Glenn Lane ( see

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), the very same person quoted in the newspaper article. When I forwarded the starbulletin.com links to my brother, he replied,

"Where were the ships painted? Can an area commander override Dept. of the Navy directives? All ships of the Pacific Fleet were repainted a very dark grey in 40-41, this is very obvious in photos taken before and during the attack on the battleships. When I talked to Glenn Lane I specifically asked him what color the Arizona was and he said a very dark charcoal gray."

So, which story of Glenn Lane's are we to trust? I think the jury is still out; personally I favor the dark gray.

Reply to
John

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