U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
USS Manley (DD-74)
USS Manley (DD-74/AG-28/APD-1), a Caldwell-class destroyer, served in the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship named for Captain John Manley (c.1733–1793).
Manley was laid down on 22 August 1916 by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine launched on 23 August 1917 sponsored by Miss Dorothy S. Sewall and commissioned on 15 October 1917, Commander Robert L. Berry in command. She was redesignated DD-74 on 17 July 1920.
MANLEY DD 74
This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.
- Caldwell Class Destroyer
Keel Laid August 22 1916 - Launched August 23 1917
This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).
Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.
This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.
A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.
USS Manley (DD-74) in First World War Camouflage - HistoryGeorge Clyde Hartman was born on May 31, 1893. According to our records Nebraska was his home or enlistment state and Platte County included within the archival record. We have Columbus listed as the city. He had enlisted in the United States Navy. Served during World War I. Hartman had the rank of Petty Officer First Class. His military occupation or specialty was Electrician First Class. Attached to USS Manley (later DD-74). During his service in World War I, Navy Petty Officer First Class Hartman experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on March 19, 1918 . Recorded circumstances attributed to: Killed in Action at Sea. Incident location: Atlantic Ocean.
He died along with his brother Lester O Hartman when their Destroyer the USS Manley collided with the British ship HMS Motagua in the Atlantic Ocean. Some sources claim their was an accidental explosion of their own depth charges followed by a fire.
As an auxiliary and high-speed transport [ edit | edit source ]
Manley was outfitted as a troop transport in the New York Navy Yard by 7 February 1939. Her first marine landing force drill was carried out on 21 February when she landed marines in Target Bay, Culebra Island in the first of many landing exercises on the Virginia and North Carolina beaches and in the Caribbean that would prove of great benefit to the United States in the vast oversea conflict then just over the horizon. Manley briefly visited the California coast in the spring of 1940 for marine landing force drills off Coronado Roads. Back in the Atlantic, Manley was officially designated the Navy's first high-speed transport on 2 August 1940 when she became APD-1.
USS Manley (DD-74) in First World War Camouflage - History
(Destroyer No. 74: dp. 1,125 (max.), 1. 315'6" b. 31'3"
dr. 8'1" (mean) s. 30 k., cpl. 100, a. 4 4 ', 2 1-pdr.
2 .30 cal. mg., 12 2i" tt. cl. Caldwell)
The second Manley (Destroyer No. 74) was laid down 22 August 1916 by the Bath Iron Works, Bath' Maine Launched 23 August 1917, sponsored by Miss Dorothy S. Sewall and commissioned 15 October 1917, Comdr. Robert L. Berry in command. She was re-designated DD-74 17 July 1920.
After fitting out in Boston Navy Yard, Manlev sailed 26 November 1917 to Join the convoy escort and patrol forces based at Queenstown, Ireland. On the morning of 19 March 1918, while Manlev escorted a convoy, a violent explosion, caused by the accidental detonation of her depth charges practically destroyed her stern, killing her executive officer, Lt. Comdr. Richard M. Elliott, Jr., and 33 enlisted men. Fragments pierced two 5 gallon drums of gasoline and two tanks containing 100 gallons of alcohol. The leaking fluids caught fire as they ran along the deck and enveloped the ship in flames which were not extinguished until late that night.
Then HMS Tanuniak edged up to the shattered destroyer and unsuccessfully tried to put a towline on board. Manley remained adrift until British tugs Blazer and Cartmel took her in tow after daylight 20 Marcb. She reached Queenstown at dusk the following day with more than 70 feet of her hull awash or completely under water.
Stanlev completed repairs in Liverpool and sailed on 22 December 1918 for operations along the eastern seaboard of the United States. She got underway 11 April 1919 to join U.S. Naval Forces in the Adriatic transporting passengers, carrying mail, and performing diplomatic missions. In June 1919 she began carrying mail and mem
bers of the U.S. Food Commission among Turkish ports in the Black Sea. The destroyer returned from the Mediterranean to New York 1 August 1919 and decommissioned at Philadelphia 14 June 1922.
The destroyer recommissioned 1 May 1930 for service as an experimental torpedo-firing ship at Newport, R.I. On 19 August 1930 she joined the Scouting Fleet in battle practice along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. She performed similar duty on the coast of California out of San Diego during 1932. She returned to the Atlantic early in 1933 for operations which continued until she sailed for the Canal Zone 10 September 1935 and joined the Special Service Squadron that patrolled the Caribbean.
Manley sailed for Norfolk 1 February 1937 to join DesRon 10 in training midshipmen. On 26 October 1937 she sailed from Boston with Clazton (DD-140) to serve with Squadron 40-T in protecting American interests in the Mediterranean during the Spanish Civil War. She operated principally from Villefranche, Naples, Algiers and Tangiers until she departed Gibraltar 29 October 1938, arriving Norfolk 11 November 1938. Reclassified a miscellaneous auxiliary 28 November, she was re designated AG-28.
Manley was outfitted as a troop transport in the New York Navy Yard by 7 February 1939 Her first marine landing force drill was carried out on 21 February when she landed Marines at Target Bay, Culebra Island in the first of' many landing exercises on the Virginia and North Carolina beaches and in the Caribbean that would prove of great benefit to the United States in the vast oversee conflict then just over the horizon. Manley briefly visited the California coast in the spring of 1940 for marine landing force drills off Coronado Roads. Back in the Atlantic, Manley was officially designated the Navy's first high-speed transport 2 August 1940 when she became APD-1. At dusk 11 April 1942, she picked up 290 survivors from the torpedoed merchant passenger steamer SS Ulysses, and landed them at Charleston the following day. On 13 July 1942 Manley transited the Panama Canal for duty with the Pacific Fleet. Touching the Society and Fiji Islands, she reached Espiritu Santo, New Herbrides 14 August, and loaded special cargo for Guadalcanal, invaded only 1 week earlier.
Carrying bombs, ammunition, and gasoline, Manley and Stringham got underway on l6 of August. After exchanging their cargo for wounded marines, they returned to Espiritu Santo on the 19th. Manley was ordered to take torpedoed Blue (DW-387) in tow for Tulagi harbor before nightfall. Since a Japanese surface force was approaching. it was necessary to scuttle the destroyer. Manley took 99 survivors on board. Only 2 hours of fuel remained when the ship made it back to Espiritu Santo on the 26th.
Ordered to cut out all topside weight on the ship her crew removed everything not essential to survival, painted the ship jungle green and covered her with camouflage nets. Thus arrayed, the high-speed transport made another trip to Guadalcanal 3 September 1942 After Little and Gregory were sunk at night 5 September, she rescued five survivors the next morning.
On 8 September 1942 Manley took part in a surprise landing on Taivu Point, Guadalcanal, by the 1st Marine Raider Battalion. The leathernecks were put ashore at 0500, and were reinforced by paratroopers from Uanlep at 1130. During the operation she bombarded Tasimboko village. The raid was a great success, and played an important role in final victory. Stores, ammunition, and equipment were destroyed and many 75mm. guns were pulled off into deep water by Higgins boats. Larger guns were dynamited, and their ammunition sunk. Reembarkation was completed by 1830, and Manley returned to Lunga Point to put the raiders ashore.
As she was unloading, the shore station ordered her to clear out at highest speed, since a raid by Japanese heavy units was expected momentarily. With 200 marines, including wounded and dead, on board, she hoisted all boats and headed out Lengo Channel with McKean at 2110. Manley had fuel for only 1 day's operations and so returned to Tulagi the next day. Taking on enough fuel to reach Espiritu Santo, she was routed onward for voyage repairs at Noumea, New Caledonia.
A company of marine raiders came on board 31 October 1942 with orders to establish a beachhead at Aola Bay, Guadalcanal. TF 65 put the marines ashore 4 November 1942. and troops from Manley and MCKean reinforced them on the 5th.
The versatile fighting ship left Noumea 20 November 1942 carrying six torpedoes, towing two PT boats, and escorting SS Pomona to Espiritu Santo. There she embarked another company of raiders and sailed for Lunga Point, Guadalcanal where the raiders debarked. The PT boats and torpedoes were then delivered to Turagi, Solomon Islands. In the following months, the high-speed transport was constantly engaged in the risky business of running supplies into Guadalcanal and escorting other ships through the dangerous Solomons.
Manley arrived San Francisco 12 June 1943 for overhaul at Hunter's's Point Navy Yard. Then, on 1 August 1943, Manley set sail for Hawaii. From Pearl Harbor, the veteran four-piper escorted a convoy south to Funatuti to resume her former duties in the Solomons.
Manley arrived Pearl Harbor 14 December 1943 and Joined the 5th Amphibious Force to prepare for operation "Flintlock," the invasion of the Marshalls. She sortied
January 1944 with TF 62. On the 30th she and Overton were detached to make a dawn strike on Carter and Cecil Islands of Kwajalein Atoll. All boats and troops were launched shortly before sunrise on 31 January 1944, and by 0900 reported that they had killed 13 of the enemy on the island at a cost of one American killed and one wounded.
The two high-speed transporte were ordered to land reconnaissance troops on Bennett Island before dawn 5 February, and Manley was designated fire support ship. The area was well-covered, and the operation went off on schedule.
Three days later Manley got underway as part Or a transport screen for Hawaii, arriving Pearl Harbor on the 15th to train Army troops for future landings.
On 30 May Manley Joined TG 5215 and departed for the invasion of Saipan. The high-speed transports arrived off Saipan on the night of 14 June and landed their m,arines on established beaches south of Garapan 13 June. Thereafter, except for a trip to Eniwetok for supplies and night harassing fire on Tinian Town and airports on the nights of 9, 12, and 18 July Manl0v operated in the transport screen until 22 July. She returned to Entwetok on the 22d and, after a trip to Kwajalein, sailed to Pearl Harbor, arriving 9 August, she began preparations for the next operation.
On 10 September Manley took on board 50 tons of explosives, slated as reserves for underwater demolition team work in the proposed invasion of Yap. She left Pearl Harbor on the 16th and proceeded via Entwetok to ldanue, Admiralty Islands. There word arrived that the operation against Yap had been canceled and that the forces assembled would strike Leyte in the Philippines. Manley was then assigned to the bombardment and fire support group which arrived in Leyte Gulf early 18 October.
After entering Leyte Gulf, Manley was Assigned screening stations off the southern transport area at Dulag. On the 19th she picked up casualties from Ross, and transferred them to Pennsylvania (BB-38). After marking a navigational buoy during the early mowing hours of the 26 th, she headed toward Hollandia with TransDiv 28, on the evening of 21 October.
En route, part of the convoy, including Manley, was diverted to Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands, and anchored there on the 27th. After an escort trip to New Guinea, Manley returned to Seeadler Harbor. In midDecember, she shifted to Noemtoor Island for tactical exercises and training for the liberation of Luzon.
Manley sailed 4 January 1945 as part of a reinforcement group for the landings at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, landing her embarked troops on the 11th. Two days later she left Lingayen, escorting an LST convoy which anchored in Leyte Gulf 18 January.
Manley was one of four high-speed transports assigned to an assault landing at Nasugbu, Luson, 31 January. With elements of the 11th Airborne Division, ManZev arrived at Nasugbu Bay 31 January and landed troops in two waves without resistance. That afternoon Manley returned to Leyte. She proceeded to Mindoro for fueling, then escorted a convoy to Subic Bay.
To block retreat by the Japanese into Bataan, Manley with TransDiv 100 and 6 LCI(L)s, put some 700 assault troops ashore at Mariveles 15 February Le146. On the 17th, she landed troops on Corregidor. Hidden gun emplacements shelled her boats, sinking one and wounding an Army officer, but the landings succeeded. That evening the transport returned to Subic Bay.
On 2 April the transport joined the screen of escort aircraft carriers loaded with the first land-based planes to be sent to Okinawa. The first section of the task group launched planes to land on Okinawa 7 April 1945. The following day Manley's task group closed the islands to launch the remainder of the aircraft for landing strip on that bitterly contested "last stepping stone" to Japan. Manley dropped depth charges on a submarine contact during the launch. Then she protected escort carriers White Plains and Hollamdia Bay toGuam.
Manley arrived San Diego 23 May for overhaul. She was reclassified DD-74 on 25 June 1945 and sailed 24 July for the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, where she was fitted with a catapults for target drones. As she was helping train gunners to meet Kamikazi attacks, the war ended M!anley departed the Hawaiian Islands 26 September for San Diego, then via the Panama Canal to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where she decommissioned 19 November 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list 5 December 1945 and she was sold for scrapping to the Northern Metal Co., Philadelphia, 26 November 1946
Manley received five battle stars for World War II service and was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.
The history of amphibious warfare predates Greek antiquity. In United States history, early in the Revolution, Colonial marines were used to conduct amphibious landings and raids such as the Battle of Nassau, ΐ] and the Penobscot Expedition. Amphibious operations were mounted in the American Civil War, and also prominently in the Spanish American War. Though this history produced a system of landing procedures, the advent of the motor vehicle (the tank in particular) and the airplane required planners to think more critically about the feasibility of amphibious operations. In Panama, during the 1920s, the Marine Corps conducted a few modest experiments concerning modern amphibious warfare. Α] At the beginning of the 1930s American defense policy shifted as the threat of the expansionist Japanese Empire became more apparent. The establishment of the Fleet Marine Force and greater concentration on the feasibility of amphibious assault were the direct result. Developing the ability to capture Japanese held islands during a Pacific war against Japan was a vital part of US war contingency plans War Plan Orange. It was not until these contingency plans described the necessity of amphibious capability that testing key maneuvers in amphibious landings was funded.
Wreckage of USS Ward, whose St. Paul crew fired first shot of World War II, is found near Philippines
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — Just days before Thursday’s 76th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, marine researchers have found and explored the undersea wreckage of the U.S. ship that was the first to fire upon a Japanese vessel that day.
On Nov. 30, the crew of the research vessel Petrel sent an underwater drone 650 feet below to explore and document the remnants of the USS Ward, according to a statement by the USS Ward Expedition.
A VFW color guard stands near the No. 3 gun from the USS Ward on Dec. 7, 2004, during the observance of Pearl Harbor Day on the state Capitol Mall in St. Paul. Several crew members from the Ward were on hand to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Hawaii that brought the United States into World War II. The Ward — a destroyer heavily manned by naval reservists from St. Paul — fired the first American shot of the war, sinking a Japanese miniature submarine trying to sneak into Pearl Harbor a little more than an hour before the surprise air attack. After the war ended, the men from the reserve unit formed the First Shot Naval Vets club in St. Paul. They helped get the gun from the Ward brought to St. Paul in 1958. (Craig Borck / Pioneer Press)
The Ward has rested unseen at the bottom of Ormoc Bay — just off the island of Leyte, Philippines — since it was destroyed by kamikaze planes in 1944. It was the end of the line for a ship that played a historic role in the beginning of World War II.
During the early morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the Wickes-class destroyer was patrolling the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Of its 115-man crew, at least 85 were from St. Paul. Just after 6:30 a.m., the officer of the deck spotted the periscope of a Japanese 80-foot midget submarine trailing the cargo ship USS Antares into the harbor, which was home to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The Ward’s commander, Lt. William W. Outerbridge, ordered his crew to fire on the suspicious vessel.
“Commence fire!” shouted St. Paulite Giles Le Clair, according to a 1986 account in the Pioneer Press.
After the ship’s No. 1 gun missed its target, the No. 3 gun put a hole in the midget sub’s conning tower. That 4-inch gun is now on display near the Veterans Services Building on the St. Paul Capitol Mall.
As the sub begin to sink beneath the waves, the Ward dropped several depth charges for good measure.
“We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges on a submarine operating in defensive sea areas,” Outerbridge radioed a few minutes after the sub rolled over.
The submarine was sunk almost two hours before the first wave of Japanese fighters and bombers attacked the island of Oahu and decimated the Pacific Fleet’s Battleship Row.
Crew members of the USS Ward pose with its No. 3 gun, which is credited with firing the first American shot of World War II. (Official Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command)
The Ward’s shots are regarded as the first fired by America during World War II, even though the United States did not officially declare war on Japan until the next day.
Le Clair and several other St. Paulites were aboard the Ward exactly three years later, when, on Dec. 7, 1944, the ship was attacked near Leyte by several Japanese kamikazes — suicide-piloted aircraft loaded with explosives. One slammed into the ship’s hull, igniting a fire that could not be contained.
The crew was ordered to abandon ship, which had been converted to a high-speed transport, and the Ward was intentionally sunk by the USS O’Brien. The skipper of the O’Brien that day was none other than William W. Outerbridge.
“The USS Ward found herself in the crucible of American history at the intersection of a peacetime Navy and war footing,” Adm. Scott Swift, Pacific Fleet commander, said in a statement issued by the expedition’s organizers. “She took decisive, effective and unflinching action despite the uncertain waters. Now 76 years on, her example informs our naval posture.”
Constructed in 1918, the Ward was named in honor of James H. Ward, the first U.S. Navy officer to be killed in action during the Civil War.
The Petrel is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The 250-foot ship is one of the few capable of exploring waters as deep as 3.5 miles.
The Petrel began its five-day expedition in the Philippines on Nov. 28, first surveying five Japanese destroyers sunk during World War II’s Battle of Surigao Strait, the statement said. The research vessel then surveyed the Ward on Nov. 30 before returning to port in Surigao City on Saturday.
Searchers verified the wreckage by cross-referencing historic drawings and schematics of the Ward.
Allen has also spearheaded expeditions that discovered the wrecks of the USS Indianapolis in August and the Japanese battleship Musashi in 2015.
USS Manley (DD-74) in First World War Camouflage - History
USS ELLIOT Finds her Roots
By Commander Bruce Linder
LCDR Arthur James Elliot, II was mortally wounded on December 29, 1968 while leading River Squadron 57 on an interdiction mission on the Vam Co Dong River in the Mekong Delta area of South Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for heroic achievement in coordinating suppressing fire and personally directing his patrol boat to provide covering fire for the other units during the action in which he was hit by enemy rocket fire.
On October 15, 1973, the keel of the fifth SPRUANCE-class destroyer was laid by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Less than two years later the new ship was christened USS ELLIOT (DD 967) in honor of LCDR Arthur Elliot. USS ELLIOT was commissioned on January 22, 1977.
Naval service is steeped in tradition and requires dedication, sacrifice and respect for the unpredictable fury of the seas. A sense of tradition can be a source of courage and strength to a ship. When Mrs. Albert B. Elliot christened USS ELLIOT (DD 967) in honor of her son, she said:
"May she serve with distinction and pride and, as the years go by, forever reflect the courage and valor of the man whose name she bears. May God bless this ship, her officers and crew."
According to tradition, the spirit of the sponsor enters the ship at the time of christening and remains there forever. The ship becomes a part of her, and she a part of it as it sails the seas.
Since USS ELLIOT (DD 967) is the first ship named after LCDR Arthur Elliot, one might suspect that her roots are recent. A close look at the ship's coat of arms, however, indicates that her heritage reaches back to early America. The crest, composed of a mainmast and mainsail, symbolizes the Elliot family's long association with the nautical heritage of their native state of Maine. Generations of the family engaged in the shipbuilding and sailing trades, including LCDR Elliot's paternal grandfather and namesake Arthur James Elliot, whose shipbuilding firm launched the last five-masted schooner ever built. Elliot's heritage, however, goes beyond the service of LCDR Elliot and his family.
Only within the last year have the men of ELLIOT become more aware that she is actually the second USS ELLIOT. By pure chance, MMC Harry Settles was temporarily serving onboard ELLIOT and remarked that his father had served on the original USS ELLIOT. Although his story was taken incredulously at first, the Chief proved himself by bringing in old photographs and his dad's ELLIOT hatband.
The hunt for ELLIOT's roots was now begun in earnest. Research revealed that the original USS ELLIOT (DD 146) was named after LCDR Richard McCall Elliot. LCDR Richard Elliot was killed onboard USS MANLEY (DD 74) on March 19, 1918 when her depth charges exploded in a collision with a British ship in the convoy Manley was escorting. USS ELLIOT (DD 146) was launched July 4, 1918 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA sponsored by Mrs. R. M. Elliot, widow of LCDR Richard Elliot and commissioned January 25, 1919. With a length of 314 ft. 5 in. and a displacement of 1,247 tons, the original ELLIOT would be dwarfed by its modern SPRUANCE-class destroyer descendant which has a length of 563 ft. 4 in. and a displacement of 8,020 tons. During the early 1920s ELLIOT stood by in China during civil disturbances which threatened American lives and property. Her service spanned three decades, and during World War II she earned a battle star for action off the Aleutian Islands.
Armed with this information, CDR Eugene E. Cragg, Jr., Commanding Officer of USS ELLIOT (DD 967), contacted the Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard to inquire about obtaining any artifacts of the original ELLIOT. Within a few months, the ship received the ship's plaque from the first ELLIOT. After some cleaning and polishing it was ready for prominent display for all hands. The ship has also received an original photograph showing the original ELLIOT at anchor off Shanghai, China on the Fourth of July, 1920. That photo was donated by VADM Ingolf N. Kiland, USN (Ret.), an original plankowner of the ship.
ELLIOT's roots not only go back in time, but stretch overseas to Scotland. The ship has enjoyed a warm relationship with the Elliot Clan Society for several years, which has included correspondence and occasional ship visits with American members of the Elliot clan. The Elliot Clan is a worldwide society of Eliots, Eliotts, and Elliotts. Sir Arthur Eliott of Rexburghshire, Scotland (Clan Chief) recently wrote:
Your mention of an earlier destroyer named ELLIOT caused me to look out an album of portrait drawings of World War I, which had been left to me by my mother (who was American). Sure enough, in this album is a portrait of LCDR Richard McCall Elliot. According to the citation, he was distinguished for exceptional bravery onboard U.S. destroyer AYLWIN in 1915 by rescuing men in the flooded engine room after the boiler had exploded. As you say, sadly, he was killed only a few years later in a collision with a British ship while escorting a convoy.
With this letter describing the heroism of the original ELLIOT's namesake the search is complete. ELLIOT's roots are deep and her tradition of naval service and sacrifice inspiring.
USS ELLIOT (DD 967), homeported in San Diego, California, is currently serving overseas on her fourth Western Pacific deployment. During her previous deployments she participated in numerous fleet exercises, rescued Vietnamese refugees, and received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for search and rescue efforts following the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 airliner incident off the coast of Sakhalin Island. In keeping with the tradition of the original USS ELLIOT (DD 146), which also served in the Pacific, USS ELLIOT (DD 967) will continue to serve honorably and ably into the twenty-first century.
USS Manley (DD-74) in First World War Camouflage - History
US Navy Ship's Camouflage WWII Pt. 1
Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts
Reviewed by Tracy White
In order to better describe some aspects of the book I would like to take a step back for a minute and give a brief description and history of US Naval Camouflage. During the Spanish-American war, many US vessels used a dark slate color known by a few different names, including slate, Battleship Gray, "War Color," and it's official name of Standard Navy Gray. This color existed in use through the first world war but was phased out in the 20s and replaced with the creation of the Standard Navy Gray #5 we know as "prewar gray" in 1919. By the mid to late 1930's, the Navy was experimenting with camouflage again, and by 1940 large-scale testing was done with destroyer squadrons in the annual "Fleet Problem."
1941 was a year of great change for the US Navy in terms of camouflage, with the release of the official "SHIPS-2" Camouflage instructions in January of 1941 and a subsequent revision in October. Nine separate camouflage designs, known as measures, were released with the first SHIPS-2 Four were camouflage for surface ships (Measures 1-5), four were not designed to hide, but to confuse by attempting to mask speed or make one type of ship look like another (Measures 5-8), and the ninth was for submarines.
Measure 1 was a Dark Gray camouflage Measure 2 was graded, with darker paints changing to progressively lighter paints as the ship went up and Measure 3 was a light paint system designed more for hazy and bad weather theaters. When the US Navy began revising SHIPS-2 (there would be three official revisions during the war and some later ones that were not re-issued as an all-new SHIPS-2) they kept the five original Measures and modified them in terms of the colors used the revised measures were simply renamed with an extra "1" in front, so Measure 1 became Measure 11, then later Measure 21 when it was modified again. Likewise, Measure 2 became Measure 12, which became Measure 22. When the Measure 31/32/33 "Dazzle" schemes were released, this convention did not apply as much other than the fact that Measure 1/11/21 and 31 were the "Dark" color systems and Measures 3/13/23 and 33 were "light" systems. These dazzle schemes were unique patterns that were created by overlaying a master pattern over the silhouette of particular class or type of ship and creating unique designs for each side and surface.
That is a brief history of the "system" of the Navy's camouflage to help understand a bit about what we are discussing below for more information I would suggest the excellent (and ModelWarships.Com sponsor) ShipCamouflage.Com and my own site's section on WWII US Naval Camouflage here.
In reading through this book, it is clear from the first paragraph that the author's understanding of USN Camouflage is limited suggesting he put together quick descriptions from other sources and did not really study the subject enough to reliably understand what he was writing about. Moreover, unfortunately for the artwork mentioned above, this lack of knowledge was passed on to the artist, who pulled off more than a couple of well but incorrectly rendered profiles. There is also evidence of either poor or a complete lack of editing in the form of numerous typos for example USS Fletcher is referred to as DD-448 in a caption on page 2 and there are at least two instances where a Navy base at "Pear Harbor" is referenced (pages 6 and 66).
There is a one page introduction that covers the general history from the First World War through the end of the Second. "Splinter" schemes, as they are labelled, are also said to have been referred to as "piebald schemes." Piebald refers to a black and white coloring, and skew bald refers to white and any other color, but neither term was ever used in official documentation of the US or Royal navies. #5 Standard Navy Gray is listed as being adopted in 1928 it actually dates to 1919 when it replaced the earlier Standard Navy Gray. Adoption of the new gray was slow due to budget constraints following the end of the first world war. Later in the introduction, it is stated that the terms "Measure" and "System" were used interchangeably, which is incorrect. There was Measure 1, the "Dark Gray System," but one never sees "System 1" or "Dark Gray Measure" in manuals or correspondence. Measure was used with a number following, and "System" would be used with terms like "dark" "medium" or "Light." Measure 31 was the "Dark Pattern System" for example.
The introduction would lead the reader to believe that US camouflage experiments started in the waters off of Hawaii in 1940 with DESRON FIVE, in fact, experimentation started well before the 1940's and saw DESDIVs SIX and SEVEN painted completely black up to the topmasts, above which was to be "War Color." The experiments the author is referring to were not actually ordered until October of 1941 and the Navy Blue Measure 1C scheme not until late November. While the book states that 5-S was found to be the most effective, textual records state the opposite, the report from the Commander of Destroyers, Battle Force, stated, "The various paint shades in order of their effectiveness in concealing ships from aerial observers are (1) Sapphire Blue, (2) Formula 5-D, (3) Formula 5-N, and (4) Formula 5-S." (http://www.shipcamouflage.com/pearl_harbor_experiments.htm - Second document)
Cavite Blue is stated to have been applied in early 1942, when it actually started in the fall of 1941. (Reference One, Two, and three) The last paragraph of the introduction continues the stream of mistakes and completely fails to mention the amphibious green camouflage measures painted on destroyers and destroyer escorts converted to APDs and provides no mention of the 1945 shift to neutral gray paints due to the shortage of blue pigments the Navy faced in 1944. No mention of either is ever made or shown in the book text or artwork.
Following the introduction are two pages of black and white First World War DD photos, but the bottom of the second page contains a color profile of a Fletcher class DD in 1943 camouflage. At this point in the book no mention of the WWII dazzle schemes has been made and the text does not distinguish this as a second world war scheme or destroyer, which may lead to some confusion.
The wording is a bit unclear and items that apply to other measures, such as hull number height and color, are only mentioned in this section. Four photos showing some of the variation are presented but two are zoomed in, very grainy shots, and a third is taken off the bow where most of the detail differences is not visible.
There is no mention of a curve to follow sheer line in some cases, even though the photo of DD-423 GLEAVES shows this variation. There is more poor photographic reproductions in this section, with the photo of DD-428 Charles F. Hughes credited to Elsilrac looking to be a blown-up photocopy. I would hope that this is a reflection upon Squadron and not Elsilrac. A caption erroneously states turret tops "were not installed" when they were the open top type.
The first paragraph of this section does not contain a sentence that is free from error. It states that the prewar #5 Standard Navy Gray was the same as 5-L Light gray, which is completely incorrect. While they were both a light gray tone, the prewar gray was much glossier and lacks the slight bluish tone of the 5-L Light Gray. Only one photo is given, and it is of a pre-war DD-420 BUCK. A sentence is dedicated to the fact that wood decks were to remain unpainted, even though US Destroyers did not have wood decks.
This section is mostly correct, although once again it mentions directions for wooden decks, when US Navy destroyers decks were all metal.
The text for Measure 5 is mostly correct the biggest error is a photo of DD-492 BAILEY purporting to show her with a false bow wave. It is easily apparent that this photo does not show a Ms5 wave, but REAL wave with wet hulls sides and paint aft. Considering that BAILEY was not even commissioned until after Measure 5 bow waves were obsolete, this is a rather glaring error.
States SHIPS-2 rev 1 was issued 1 September, 1941, but this revision was not actually issued until October 15th of that year. The book makes no mention that before Measure 21 was officially codified in July of 1942, a good number of ships were painted into Measure 11 with 5-N substituted for 5-S. This can cause confusion when people read that a ship was painted in Measure 11 but not understand that 5-S was somewhat short-lived in the fleet and that in many cases Measure 11 and 21 were essentially the same thing.
The Measure 12 section contains a couple of minor errors (such as the statement that canvas was to be painted 20-B in actuality it was to be dyed. Not much difference to a modeler) and a couple of caption errors (Page 14's photo of DD-220 MACLEISH is captioned to the effect that she has only two colors in her Measure 12 scheme when moderate inspection shows she is wearing the normal three). The biggest disappointments are the total lack of photos of standard Measure 12 and any mention that Measure 12 Revised often used 5-N Navy Blue in place of 5-S Sea Blue after the manufacture of Sea Blue was discontinued. In fact, other than mention in the first paragraph it would seem that Ms 12 was only the splotched Measure 12 in the eyes of the author.
Other than DD-239 OVERTON, I can find no example of a destroyer or destroyer escort in Measure 13 during the war. Measure 13 came into wide-spread use after the war, when the Navy had switched paint formulas to neutral colors due to a shortage in blue pigment. No mention is made in the book at all about this switch, nor that the "Haze Gray" post war was not 5-H, but a newer "#27 Haze Gray" that lacked the subtle blueish tone of the wartime 5-H.
The information in this section is correct with the exception of a caption that states the overhang forward of the bridge on DD-138 Kennison was painted in 20-B when in actuality it is just shadow.
Measure 15 lists "speculative" colors including 5-S Sea Blue, despite the fact that the color was no longer being manufactured and was being used up on less important ships and craft. Why would you test a NEW scheme using old colors you didn't have in production any more?
It is stated that Mountbatten Pink was "carried on both horizontal & vertical surfaces." There are no known color shots, and textual records as to when and the few B&W's from about the right time seem to show deck blue, at the very least a darker color than Mountbatten pink. Additionally, the Royal Navy DID NOT paint it on horizontal surfaces. The photo of USS Phelps in this section was shot when she was Measure 21, not Mountbatten pink.
Comments on Measures 15-18
While the author states Ms 15 & 16 "appear to have influenced" the MS 3X dazzle schems, no mention is made of Measure 17, the true forerunner of these measures. Measure 15 is covered despite the fact that only one destroyer (Hobson DD-464) was painted in it no mention is made of Measure 18 which was similar to Measure 22, but the 5-N band followed the sheer line and therefore curved upwards near the bow. Considering that Measures 11 and 15 were covered, in which only one Destroyer has been known to have been painted in, and there were at least six DDs in Ms 18, this is an omission I wish did not exist.
This section states that when the Navy began painting over the dazzle schemes in response to Kamikaze attacks, the US Navy started painting ships in Measure 22 In fact the Navy instituted a program wherein Measure 21 was painted on odd numbered squadron ships and Measure 22 was painted on even numbered squadrons: Serial 631: Camouflage Instructions - Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, Assigned to the Pacific Fleet.
The section on Measure 22 States that Ms 22 was an outgrowth of Ms2, when it was really an outgrowth of Ms 12, which was the true replacement for Measure 2. The second paragraph states that white WAS to be applied on the bottom of overhangs to counter-shade and lighten shadows in actuality the SHIPS-2 directive stated that white COULD be applied if desired. Following this, the next paragraph states that Measure 22 was first used in 1943, but the SHIPS-2 that first defined it was released in June of 1942 and there are many ships in the ShipCamouflage.Com destroyer database showing Ms 22 in 1942.
The information and descriptions for Measure 31 are mostly correct, with a decent collection of photos of the different design sheets roughly in numeric/alphabetical order. There are a couple of weaknesses, however one textual and others dealing with the information presented visually. It is stated that measure 31 called out for 5-L, 5-O, and Black to be used on vertical surfaces when in actuality those were the possible colors that the DESIGN SHEET would call out. Pattern 1D, for example, just used 5-L and Black on vertical surfaces, leaving the 5-O only for the deck pattern. 1D is consistently described incorrectly as having 5-O Ocean Gray on vertical surfaces throughout this book.
The pictures sometimes leave something to be desired in their selection and reproduction. There are four photos of ships in pattern 3D, for example, and all of them are showing the starboard side, with no examples of the port side presented. DD-592 Howorth's caption on page 49 describes her Measure 31/21D as "modified" due to a patch of 5-O paint, when in actuality the section is totally black, and the lighter patch is just not in the shadow from the overhang of the bow. The full-page photo of USS Massey DD-778 on page 50 is of such poor reproductive quality as to be nearly useless, with severe grain and over-contrast obliterating most detail it looks like a second generation photo-copy. While it may show the general pattern, those using it to reproduce it on a model may have difficulty placing the lines due to the lack of referencable detail.
Finally, an obscure detail is missed in that some ships of the Benson class (at least) had their 3D patterns swapped port and starboard, which may lead to some confusion in identification of ships.
The last paragraph of this section is pure space filler, once again incorrectly asserting that these schemes were sometimes referred to as piebald. The caption for a photo of DE-530 John M. Bermingham states that she was the last DE constructed for the Navy, which is hard to believe considering that the photo is dated August 1944 and there were several that were commissioned the next year. (DE709 Bray Rizzi, for example, which is also labelled the last DE constructed for the Navy)
The photo of DE-387 Vance on page 54 is so blown-out and light that for most of the ship one cannot tell the difference between the 5-L and 5-O paint. The caption for DE-408 Strauss on page 55 states the 22d pattern called for Black & 5-O Ocean Gray, when the Design sheet actually called out for 5-L Light Gray and Black. Design 13D is described on pages 58 & 59 as consisting of 5-L Light Gray and 5-O Ocean Gray on vertical surfaces when it was actually 5-L and black, with the 5-O used only on the deck pattern. The photo of DE-5 Evarts on page 61 is described as showing her changing from Measure 31 to Measure 32, when examination shows that her paint is just really weathered and an earlier application of Measure 22 is starting to show through.
The first paragraph, which describes the measure, is essentially entirely wrong because it fails to include the variety in the design sheet patterns. It states that there were two colors in Measure 33, when a good number of the sheets have three. It continues on with the statement that all horizontal surfaces were to have a deck pattern, when the majority of the destroyers that wore this measure had a simple, pure deck blue coating. The book also sates that only three DDs were in Measure 33 patterns a check of the shipcamouflage database (which admittedly has errors) reveals two Sumners and three Gearings Gearing herself is stated to have worn 33 / 28d when she never did (in the interest of full disclosure, the ShipCamouflage database did list her as wearing Measure 33 until a couple of months ago it was during the research for the Dragon Gearing kit that we made the determination that the entry was erroneous).
The caption for the photo of DE-231 Cross on page 64 states her camouflage "is unusual in that she carries Measure 33/3d Modified on both the port and starboard side." I'm not quite sure where the mistake lays whether the author was trying to imply it was abnormal for a ship to have the same design on both sides (false in that the vast majority of design patterns were released with patterns for BOTH SIDES of the ship) or if he was trying to state she had the exact same design painted on both sides (also false, as her Navsource page shows). It is true that there were ships that had different design patterns on different sides, or one side of a particular design sheet applied to both sides, and in some cases the port and starboard sides were reversed, but no mention of made of this or any other variations in the text.
Curiously, the last picture in the Measure 33 section is of USS Drayton in her "Blue Beetle" Sapphire blue during experiments before the war while this was probably done to fill up some color-printed space I think it would have been better served with a color shot of a dazzle scheme as there is not a single color dazzle photo in the entire book.
A final correction the photo of Buchanan on the very last page lists the vertical colors as 5-H Haze Gray, 5-O Ocean Gray, and 5-S Sea Blue in actuality the 5-S had been replaced with 5-N Navy Blue.
Pattern 1D is described in many of the mid-book profiles as 5-L/5-O/BK on vertical surfaces when in fact 5-O was only part of the deck pattern and the vertical surfaces were painted only in 5-L/BK. This erroneous description also appears in the Measure 31 section. The USS Compton is listed on page 43 as being in Ms 32/11D when it should be 11A. There is a slight error in the pattern as well one area that is shown as being just 5-O should be 5-O and Black.
Page 52 makes note of the differences in pattern 3D between two ships and states the reason to be that the painters of one "interpreted" the pattern no mention is made that there were different design sheets issued for each class of ship and the two ships being compared are, of course, different classes. While there WAS interpretation of designs in cases where a specific design sheet for a specific class was not available, the failure to mention that there were differences in patterns for different classes leads to a flawed understanding of the camouflage system, in my opinion. Moreover, the caption on page 54 for USS Bray's Ms 32/3D says that an additional panel of 5-L was added to the bow area this is part of the 3D design sheet for the Evarts class and should not be construed as painters interpreting designs.
CONCLUSION AND AFTER WORD:
Squadron/Signal "in Action" books to me were always a good first source of information on a topic not as in-depth as some books but a good amount of information on variants, color, and history of any given topic with a couple pages of color artwork thrown in for good measure. Originally an aircraft-focused series, they have released the odd ship title over the years with an increasing stream the last decade or so. However, with this has come some criticisms some photos displayed "jaggies" from the use of low-resolution jpg images and evidence of quick or limited research on a topic.
The 2009-released "US Navy Ships Camouflage WWII: Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts" regretfully continues this trend and in some areas takes it to new heights. This review was originally started to let the modeler who is potentially interested in the book make a decision based on my impressions, but there were so many errors, and so much that is wrong in this book that I felt it was also necessary to provide a list of corrections so that those who come across this book in the future may have correct information.
The intent of this review is two-fold to both provide merits and flaws in the book as well as to publicly demonstrate to Squadron/Signal that they need to put forth a serious effort if this is remain a viable and trusted line of product.