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Topic: Bb color change question< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2005,8:34  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Dobbins,

This may work, but how would it distinguish similar shades of the same color?  5-D Dark Gray is actually a purple blue color, very dark, almost a black.  The closest color the USN used later in the war was 5-N Navy Blue, which is only slightly lighter than 5-D.  These colors were based on the Munsell System of color, which is best described as a cylindrical interpretation of color.  The circle consists of 10 hues (z-axis), the intensity of the color (value) being the y-axis, and the saturation (chroma) being the x-axis.  The codes are read as the hue, saturation, and value.  See the following chart:



So the Munsell code for 5-D reads:

5PB 2/1.5

Where 5PB is the hue (center of the purple-blue radii), 2 being the value of color (very dark), and 1.5 being the saturation (very  purple-blue).  Now, the Munsell value for 5-N reads:

5PB 3/2

So as you can see, 5-D and 5-N are very similar colors.  5-S, which is called for in 15-CN41, has a Munsell code of:

2.5PB 3-6/4

Which makes it more blue (2.5 clockwise is closer to blue), less saturated, and lighter (higher numbers denote less of a value).  All this to say, placing a ship in 5-D next to a ship in 5-S would be distinguishable in a black and white photo.  

So, since 5-N is the closest blue color to 5-D, the question should be if 5-N was used in Measure 1.  This is doubtful, since the first official  application of 5-N wasn't until sometime in November 1941 on the Flusser DD-368, and wasn't authorized until 8 SEP 1941.  This was experimental in nature, and the official replacement of 5-S with 5-N didn't occur until 13 FEB 42, with the authorization for the change being given on 16 DEC 41.  5-N was not in general use before the attack in the Pacific Fleet.
 
All this is the background for determining if any BB was painted blue during the attack.  5-N was not authorized for general use, so this color is out.  5-S is a much lighter color than either 5-N or 5-D, and looks very similar to the frame from the Lexington film.  5-D is the color you see in the color picture of the Arizona posted earlier, and has to be what was in general use during the  attack since the B&W photos show very dark paint, and 5-S was not that dark.

Jon
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2005,9:08 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Jon,

This method would NOT work with all colors. I presented a simplified version of the process as an example, but the actual process would be more complex.

I stated that a color would have a value. This would only be true if it was a flat surface hit by light at a 90 degree angle. Ships are composed of curved surfaces with the light hitting a different angles on the curve.

Color 1 might have a digital value range of 123456 to 123789. Color 2 might have a digital value range of 456123 to 456789. there is no overlap in these two ranges so it would be easy to say if it was painted color 1 or color 2. Color 3 might have a digital value range of 456089 to 456456. there is an overlap between these two colors, so it's harder to say if it's painted color 2 or color 3.

If there is a 10% overlap in the digital value range you can say which color is represented with a high degree of accuracy. If there is a 90% overlap in the digital value ranges, then the accuracy will be much lower, little more than a guess.

This method would be best used to support other evidance rather than as a stand alone source of information. If you have a high percentage of overlap in the values of Color 2 and 3, then you have to rely on other information, ie if the picture is from November 1941, and color 3 wasn't used until mid 1942, then you know it isn't color 3 even though there is an overlap with the values of color 2.

It wouldn't be a magic bullet that solved every color question, but it could solve some of them with more accuracy than relying on 60+ year old memories and flawed 1940s vintage color photography technology.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2005,10:29 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Dobbins,

I tend to agree with your assessment in the evaluation of b&w photos in this method.  It may indicate that a certain color was used, but there's more intangibles at work here than could be determined by an exercise of this method.  That's why I've been suspect of this claim, since there's no documentation indicating this change in written orders, requisition forms, or other such evidence.  Further, there's been a lot of assuptions made that since "A" was ordered on such and such date, therefore "B" must be in accordance with it.  There's a timeline problem with the painting of the Lexington, in that there's an 8 day period for the paint to be produced, shipped, the ship painted, repositioned, aircraft loaded, and the ship set sail.  Further, when Lexington leaves San Diego, there's obvious weathering to the paint scheme that wouldn't have taken place after only 8 days.  Therefore, either the color was applied far in advance of the official order authorizing it's use, or the color film isn't a reliable piece of evidence.

Also, it seems that a lot of liberty has been taken with dates of introduction of certain colors to fit this claim.  If this liberty were assumed to have been taken, it would mean that the orders authorizing the use of colors were not adhered to, which would mean that the orders themselves are irrlevant.  There's a lot of written documentary evidence showing how the development of these colors took place, as well as their introduction into service, and to completely discount all of this without any source materials to back it up is unusual to say the least.

As for your idea, I think this should be attempted.  It would provide a good supporting source for either argument, since it would provide another avenue for research.  However, I think it would be limited in determining 5-D from 5-N since there is so little difference in their Munsell System values.  In reading the documents about the development of 5-N, the basis for the color was a more durable form of 5-D to try and ward off excessive chalking and increase durability.  The original formula of 5-N was a mixture of 5-D and 5-S in the Atlantic, and that mixture was darkened to provide a better deceptive color.  That being said, 5-N is a later color, and was only in it's experimental phase at the time of the attack.  

Finally, this sentence from 15-CN41 seems to have been disregarded in order to make the claim that 15-CN41 was in full effect:

Quote
"...Pending receipt of comprehensive instructions from the Bureau of Ships, no change is contemplated in the present directive providing for the general application of Measure 1 to ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.  However, inasmuch as the manufacture of Formula 5-D has been discontinued, painting will of necessity be limited to touching up with available supplies of this paint, until general issue of the new formulas, 5-S, 5-O, and 5-H has been initiated"


The easiest way to show that this claim may be correct is to find the supply records showing that general issue of these colors had taken place prior to the repainting of Arizona in November 1941.  Otherwise, the first sentence of this quote would be the operative sentence, and this whole discussion would be moot.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2005,12:05 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Jon,

The method I'm sugesting would be more likely to eliminate a color than to prove one. It would yeild something along the lines of the USS Bigboat could have been color 1 or color 2, but it was allmost certainly not color 3. It wouldn't be conclusive by itself, but it would support or undermine other evidance.

As for an order about mixing new paint, it has to be placed in context. With the situation in the Atlantic and the deterotating situation in the Pacific in the fall of 1941 they would have been bombarded with projects that needed attention. They wouldn't have been in a postion to drop everything to mix new paint. It would have to be priortized against all of the other demands and fit into the work schedule. A given order might be complied with in a few days, or it might take far longer depending on how much they had that was considered more important at the time.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2005,8:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Dobbins,

Quote
As for an order about mixing new paint, it has to be placed in context. With the situation in the Atlantic and the deterotating situation in the Pacific in the fall of 1941 they would have been bombarded with projects that needed attention. They wouldn't have been in a postion to drop everything to mix new paint. It would have to be priortized against all of the other demands and fit into the work schedule. A given order might be complied with in a few days, or it might take far longer depending on how much they had that was considered more important at the time.


In this we are in complete agreement.  Between 6 October and 6 December, it's highly unlikely that the priority of the Pacific Fleet was to make sure that the guidelines of 15-CN41 were the overriding order in preparing for the upcoming war.  The assumption that's been made is that once this order was issued, there was some sort of immediate flurry of action to get the paint manufactured, shipped to Hawaii, and then get every ship starting with the BB's painted in the new colors.  Each of the Task Forces at P.H. had three 2-week upkeep periods between the time of 6 October and 6 December, and to assume that more critical upkeep tasks were deferred to paint the ships would be silly.  Further, since there was only a limited amount of shipping space available for materials going to P.H. in this time period, it would be just as silly to assume that something was left stateside while paint was shipped to replace existing stocks, when the order allowed for the continued use of existing stocks.  For me, this is where this claim has the weakest basis in fact.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2005,11:58 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha again Jon! Thanks for putting all that information dow; part of the thing originally missing from this thread were the reasons why it is not likely Arizona was blue. I really wish I'd thought to cut & paste more of the information that was bandied about on SteelNavy but I was worried about copyright.

Now, there are three reasons I'm not dismissing this out of hand. First off, I have been a consumer of Steve Wiper's books for a number of years and can appreciate the amount of research he does. I've also talked with him and came away with a favourable impression. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Second, I've talked to two others who are well known in the model ship/naval research field (who's names I can't say without checking first) and neither of them is willing to dismiss the idea out of hand either. They're skeptical but waiting for proof. If that's good enough for them then it's good enough for me.

Lastly, concerning the RG 73 drydock photo of Arizona in November, have you seen the original scan or only the Waship's Magazine photo? I originally thought her too dark in that photo to be 5S, but when I looked closer I noticed something odd about Turret #1



What is the lighter swath on the top of the turret and going diagonally up the face? I can't think of any reason that a sailor would paint diagonaly lines like that but I can't think of any reason for such a hard-edged color light-color change other than paint.

When I made my original "Arizona was blue" post I didn't title it that because I was 100% sure that she was, but because I *knew* that was a topic title that would draw people in, as opposed to "some researchers think Arizona was blue." Boy howdy did we ever get some discussion!

We keep threads here pretty much forever, so if they're proven wrong this thread will not go away. It will have further commentary on why it was incorrect, but it won't go away. So the fact that this thread is still around is not an indication that we're pushing this theory. We are perhaps too trusting of the people with this theory, particularly in comparison to how we react to Stinnett's people. David is no ship guy and color is not my schtick, but I'm trying to learn. So thank you again for your posts, they're helping.

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Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2005,3:49 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Tracy,

Quote
What is the lighter swath on the top of the turret and going diagonally up the face? I can't think of any reason that a sailor would paint diagonaly lines like that but I can't think of any reason for such a hard-edged color light-color change other than paint.


As you know, the sides of the 3-gun turrets of the Nevada and Pennsylvania classes are not flat, but curved, and as such will reflect light in different directions.  The darker triangle at the front of the turret you've highlighted is at a different angle than the center of the turret, and the rear area around the rangefinder is angling further away than the center.  The angle of this photograph seems to show the face of the turret, where the barrels are coming out, is possibly at the same angle to the camera as the center of the side, with the side front more toward the camera, and the side rear more facing away.  Further, the sides of the turret are convex at the bottom, but straight at the top, and the side itself forms an odd surface which will reflect light at many different angles The triangle shape seems to conform to area where the turret angles in from it's widest to the face of the turret, and this area is convex .  More than likely you're looking at different light reflections.

However, if this photograph was taken as the ship was in the process of being painted, then these darker areas could be simply wet paint, or paint that hasn't fully cured as opposed to the rest of the turret.  You could also have different batches of paint used on this one turret, one of which was darker than the rest.  Another possibility is that you're looking at primer, which being red, would show up darker than the gray with some orthochromatic films of the time.  Finally, it this photo was taken early in the morning, and there had been a heavy dew the previous evening, these could be condesation patches affecting the reflectance of the light.  There are a lot of possibilities here which could explain the darker patches.  

Now, consider this.  Arizona went from #5 standard gray to a camouflage color during this drydocking.  All three colors that have been proffered  are darker than #5 gray, and this photo shows that the overall color of the ship is too dark to have been #5 gray.  So, what are these dark patches?  If they are paint as you surmise, than either the 5-D is being painted over by 5-S, and you're looking at the end of the job, or the 5-S is being overpainted with 5-D, and you're looking at the beginning of the job.  Either way, it's highly doubtful that Arizona went into drydock in #5 gray, was repainted in one color, and then immediately repainted in another color.  Remember, Arizona was drydocked from 27-31 October according to Stilwell, and this is usually when repainting occurs.  If this photo is correctly dated as November, then it is probably toward the end of that drydocking, or the first week of November.  This would mean that if we are looking at one of the new colors, the stocks would have had to have been produced, loaded, shipped, unloaded, inventoried, requistioned, issued, and used in 23 days.  Taking into account there are at least two weekends in there, that would make the period of time 19 days.  This is where the time line just doesn't make any sense.  

Quote
So the fact that this thread is still around is not an indication that we're pushing this theory. We are perhaps too trusting of the people with this theory, particularly in comparison to how we react to Stinnett's people.


The analysis thus far of this is a good example of why all the applicable information on this claim should be made public and vetted.  This b&w photo demonstrates only that there is a darker color of something on #1 turret, and not even that if this photo was taken on orthochromatic film.  My statement was simply meant to say that there was two different standards being applied when comparisons between two subjects were evaluated.  I understand that there is a belief in the work that has been done by Mr. Wiper, but there is a lot of incorrect information also contained in those books.  The claim that Arizona was painted in something other than 5-D is a very big leap of faith, especially since no evidence has been provided to support the claim, and others are trying to support it with their own leaps.  The fact is that there has been no evidence provided to substanciate this claim, and the refusal to do so by those making the claim only harm the credibility of the claim and it's supporters.  

As for the title of this thread, I have no qualms with it, since, as you rightly state, it's served it's purpose.  If the thread stays here forever, all the better since future readers will be able to use it for their own research.  It's the willingness to dismiss all the proven evidence to accept the unproven claim which is the most disturbing.  Maybe this claim will be shown to be factual, and maybe not, but there should be some greater skepticism shown.

Jon
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2005,3:51 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha,

There is one thing that has to be considered when viewing the situation in the Pacific in the fall of 1941. The United States was allready involved in an undeclared Naval war with Germany in the Atlantic, and that was priorty number 1.

We had been escorting ships to the mid-Atlantic for some time as part of the "Neutrality" Patrols. We were giving the Brits postions of U-Boats that we spotted so they could attack them. We had transfered 50 4 piper destroyers to the UK.

On September 4th 1941 a U-boat mistook the USS Greer for one of the Destroyers that had been transfered to the UK and fired on her.

On September 11th 1941 Roosevelt ordered American war ships to shoot on sight any German warship in the Western Atlantic "Neutrality Zone"

On October 17th the Destroyer USS Kearny was torpedoed by a U-Boat. The ship was damaged and 11 Americans died.

On October 31st 1941 the United States lost it's first warship in World War II over a month before Pearl Harbor was attacked. The USS Rueban James was torpedoed and sank by a U-boat. 100 of her crew died.

The USA allready had a Germany First policy in the event of war, and this along with the outbreak of the undeclared Naval war in the Atlantic in the fall of 1941 insured that the Atlantic Fleet had first priorty on Naval resourses in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2005,7:58 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All,

I just posted something related to the Pearl Harbor battleship DECKS at Steelnavy.com  The URL is appended below for information, although it does not address the issue in this thread directly.

http://members.boardhost.com/Warship/msg/170945.html

There have been any number of individuals speculating over the Pearl Harbor BB colors for many years, thinking that there may have been various blues used.  I remember vividly sitting in Chuck Haberlein's NHC office 15-20 years watching the "world is blue" Lexington footage discovered by Don Montgomery- footage that, largely, is the catalyst for the discussion ongoing.  To address this color controversy, I offer this- a dispatch I found buried in some microfilm, the jist of which follows:

13Dec41 - Admiral Anderson (ComBatships) to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Tennessee:
1. Anderson ordered that these ships immediately commence painting their 5L upperworks with 5N.  Additionally, he provided formula data based on the tint medium proportions, etc.
2. The remaining portions of the four ships addressed in the dispatch- from the upper works down- were to be painted as soon as practicable.
3. Anderson also ordered decks and canvas painted with some homebrewed concoction, using a proportion of tint medium which was substantially darker than 5N.

The implication is that the proscribed deck stain was not available.  This might well explain why six of the Pearl Harbor BBs had teak decks on 7Dec41.

Anderson did not address the issue of Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, California, and West Virginia for obvious reasons, being concerned only about the surviving ships which might potentially see action.

Finally, this dispatch raises a question which, through rhetorical, deserves an answer from the "True Blue BB Believers":
Why on earth would ComBatships (Anderson) instruct his units to repaint the lower portion of the ships if, already, they had been freshly painted into the "5N [etc.] Measure 1", as Don Montgomery and others have maintained?

Mike Wenger
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 18 2005,2:13 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Question Mike, as I'm confused by your question.

Point one instructed the ships to paint their upperworks... but you ask why they would repaint their lowerworks. Am I missing something here?

*IF* they had already painted the lowerworks in 5N wouldn't the order to only paint the upperworks in 5N make some sort of sense? Or am I just being dense again?

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