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Topic: Bb color change question< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 31
Mike Wenger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 18 2005,1:48  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tracy,

The development of my point from the previous post was perhaps a bit unclear.  Allow me to restate it.

1. Many people (Don Montgomery and others, and I have the deepest respect for him... a noble and considerate gentleman) think that, due to the chalking characteristics of 5D, Kimmel wanted the ships repainted.
2. Per a letter from Kimmel dated 6Oct41 (via Montgomery's phonecons- and I do NOT have a copy) Kimmel announced that he was completely out of 5D and instructed the PHNY to paint ships in accordance with Measure 1, but using 5S rather than 5D.  When informed by the yard that they were almost out of 5S, Kimmel directed them to use 5N.  Any ship painted in accordance with these instructions would have been in what Kimmel authorized as "Measure 1A".
3. Montgomery has maintained that, because the ships in Measure 1 were chalking terribly, that, subsequent to 6Oct41 they would likely have been repainted in the 5N Measure 1A as soon as they hit the Navy Yard for any extended period.
4. Montgomery buttresses the above assertion with the observation that a number of the battleships in the PH attack and aftermath photography appear to be freshly painted, and are rather "un-chalked" and very dark.  Hence, his conclusion that at least some portion of the battleships had been converted to 5N Measure 1A.  Frankly, at one time I thought that this made considerable sense.

Now I am not so sure.

The Anderson dispatch implies that the surviving battleships needed, not only their control tops painted out with 5N, BUT ALSO, THE AREAS BENEATH THE FUNNEL LINE.

The question is, why on earth would Anderson decide to waste both paint and precious time, applying 5N to vessels that were already in that color?  The rather clear implication here is that they were NOT in 5N, but rather were in 5D, i.e., the standard Measure 1.

Is my question clear now?

Regards,

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Mike Wenger
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 Post Number: 32
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 18 2005,7:58 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is now. Since I'm not involved in the research and don't have the documents you're citing I can't reply of course. There's a lot of murky water in this issue and people who's abilities and skills I trust on BOTH sides.  

I may have an opinion on the mater in a couple months, but that's all conjecture for now.

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Tracy White
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 Post Number: 33
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2005,9:51 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Mike and Tracy,

There is a problem in this.  Measure 1A, according to fleet orders, was the replacement of 5-D Dark Gray with 5-S Sea Blue.  Measure 1C was the designation for the replacement of 5-D with 5-N.  This designation didn’t take place until 27Nov41 (notation at the bottom of Fleet Camouflage Order authorizing Measure 11), and the only ship recorded as having been painted with 5-N was the FLUSSER as of 6Dec41 (letter from Cmdr. Clark on MARYLAND from Battle Force, PacFleet).  Further, while true that a replacement for 5-D was being researched to address this specific problem, 5-N was considered an experimental color during this time, and was not authorized for general use under 15-CN41, which would have been the enabling order.  So there are both time line and referential issues with this theory.  The Anderson document you reference is probably another reinforcement of the problems with the theory, since it does authorize painting below the funnel tops, which as you mention, would not be necessary is these were freshly painted ships.  

Another interesting anomoly of this blue ship theory is that Kimmel's letter is supposed to be dated 6Oct41, the same day which 15-CN41 was issued.  If this theory is to be shown to be correct, one would have to answer the question why Kimmel authorized 5-N to be used in a letter to the Navy Yard, but didn't include that authorization on the official order to the entire fleet.  Also, the theory says that since the yard was almost out of 5-S, then they were to use 5-N.  If the yard was almost out of 5-S, then they'd also be almost out of 5-N since both were made by mixing 5-U white with 5-BTM tinting material, and 5-N uses 5 units more of the 5-BTM than 5-S.  It's hard to believe that since the yard is almost out of the materials to make something, they would be authorized to replace that outage by using even more of the same materials.  

Jon
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2005,5:08 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha All,

Something to bear in mind.

Chalking in a picture is a definate sign that the ship is painted with 5-D, but the absense of chalking is NOT proof that the ship was painted another color.

You can't overlook that the ships would all have paint lockers with their own supply of paint for doing touch up painting. If a ship was badly chalked and going to be in port for any length of time I find it inconceivable that First Division wouldn't be going over the side touching up that chalking as long as they had any 5-D on hand.

Appearance is very important to the Navy. The decks on these ships were holy stoned every day. Prior to orders for brightwork to be painted over it was polished everyday. I find it impossible to beleave that any First Lieutenant worth his salt would tolarate a badly chalked ship if he had any 5-D left in the paint locker and some time in port. He wouldn't remain a First Lieutenant very long under most Captains if he did.

This was even more true of the Battleships than other ships. They were the Navy's most visible ships, the ones that got most of the attention in the pre-war Navy. Battleships were the very symbol of the Navy's strength at this time, and all of them were showboats in addition to their military duties.

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Mike Wenger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2005,11:19 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dobbin...

I was mistaken regarding 1-A and 1-C... and thanks for pointing that out.  You've raised some excellent points.

1. Even if the Navy Yard was out of 5D, the lockers in the BBs may have been crammed to the gills.
2. Due to the premium placed on apprearances, the BBs would likely have accomplished a disproportion share of 5-D touchup work.

Right?

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2005,11:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Mike,

That is correct.

This provides an excellent example of the need to take facts in context. It's very tempting to say "A" proves "B", but in the process you may be overlooking "C", "D", and "E", all of which may have affected or caused "B" instead of it simply being "A".

Take Kimmel's order for paint for example. Out of context it's straight forward, the Admiral orders paint, the yards mix it and repaint the ships. In context you have Naval Shipyards that are not only doing the repairs of US ships like they do now, but who were also ship builders in the 1940s and part of the massive ship construction projects under the "Two Ocean Navy" act of 1940. The yards were also involved in giving "aid short of war" to the UK, so they were providing services to the Royal Navy in addition to the US Navy, including repairs of battle damage to British Ships. All of this makes paint just one of many priorities that the yards had to meet with limited resources.

Another example is information pointing to a possible attack on Pearl Harbor. The context of far more information pointing to an attack to the south of Japan is ignored. So is the fact that that information was correct, Japan's main thrust was in fact towards the south. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a covering action intended to protect Japan's flanks from the US Navy during the main thrust in the Western Pacific.

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John Dobbins

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 Post Number: 37
Mike Wenger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2005,4:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John,

I think you are correct about the Japanese Southern Operations, vis-a-vis the PH covering action.  The national objective was not Hawaii, nor the U.S. Fleet.  It was the resource-rich NEI.

In a related matter, Kimmel and company were extremely concerned about the build-up they saw in the Mandates during Sep/Oct/Nov41 timeframe.  The CinCPac message file microfim is chocked full of alarm bells, with the dispatches containing much nervous language.

Clearly, Kimmel saw at least one of Japan's primary thrusts coming through the Mandates and was engaged in a frantic game of catch-up at Wake and Midway before everything unravelled.  There was a LOT more activity ongoing (and earlier activity, at that) to reinforce Wake and Midway than is documented in the PH Hearing volumes, which is as far as everybody seems to go these days.

Wait until 2006/2007 for the full story!  This is a book chapter I am working on right now.

Wenger

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2005,6:53 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Mike,

My own analogy of the start of the war is a bank robbery. The money the Japanese robbers were after was in the western Pacific, but they started the robbery by shooting the security guard (the US Fleet) to make sure the security guard didn't interfere with their bank robbery.

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John Dobbins

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2005,8:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

But was the security guard in blue or gray?  :D

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Tracy White
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 Post Number: 40
David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2005,10:42 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Japanese samurai have a defense against two opponents. Slash the best warrior then kill the weaker opponent then kill the wounded opponent. They slashed at Pearl, killed the south Pacific nations and tried to kill the wounded opponent at Midway. BUT some one read their book [in the movie Patton said, I read his book!].

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