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"USN Camo for Guadalcanal campaign?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

jefferysl Inactive Member12 Feb 2009 3:30 p.m. PST

I just picked up 4 Cleveland class cruisers and 9 Fletcher class destroyers with an eye for running the Battle of Kolombangara. I know that a lot of the ships were in measure 21 (dark blue grey on vertical surfaces, deck blue horizontal) and measure 12 (mottled blue grey, medium grey, and haze grey on vertical, deck blue horizontal). Were these schemes mixed and matched between ships in the same TFs? Were they mixed in ship types or were all CLs in measure 21 while DD's were in 12? Were there other schemes that were prevalent? Doing research on individual ships at a particular period during their service is pretty tough to pin down! How would you paint them?

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2009 3:49 p.m. PST

Measure 12 is an Atlantic fleet scheme, Measure 21 is Pacific Fleet. Ships coming from the Atlantic often arrived in Ms 12, but were re-painted to Ms 21 as soon as possible. For example, I have pix of USS San Juan supporting the initial Guadalcanal landings at the beginning of August in Ms 12, but other photos show her in Ms 21 by the end of the month.

A lot of ships were built in East Coast yards and did their working-up/training with the Atlantic fleet, so they got Ms 12 (e.g., Fletcher). The carriers Wasp and Hornet were in such demand that they never got re-painted before being sunk.

It's also possible for stuff to show up in Ms 22, which is a blue-grey hull up to a line parallel to the waterline with grey above. For example, Washington went from Ms 12 (duty hunting Tirpitz) to Ms 22 (she got re-painted in an East Coast yard) and she wore that for the rest of the war.

So for Kolombangara I'd say you're probably safe with Ms 21, but you can always try to find pix of the specific ships. Google is your friend here. There's also a fairly complete list of which ship wore what scheme during each year of the war here:


Hope this helps!

Blind Old Hag Fezian Inactive Member12 Feb 2009 5:59 p.m. PST

Yes according to that web site, both US cruisers were wearing MS 21.

The destroyers Ralph Talbot, Maury, and Woodworth were painted MS 21.

Gwin, Buchanan, Obannon, and Jenkins MS12 mod

Radford, and Nicholas could be either MS12 mod or MS 21.

Taylor was MS 22

Toshach Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Feb 2009 6:39 p.m. PST

I might be wrong but I think the two American light cruisers at Kolombangara were Brooklyn Class. The third was a Brit or Australian, wasn't it?

Blind Old Hag Fezian Inactive Member12 Feb 2009 6:54 p.m. PST

Yes Brooklyn class light cruiser. The third cruiser was the HMNZS Leander which is a, go figure, Leander class light cruiser.

There are differences between the Brooklyns and Clevelands but depending on scale, it may not matter.

Not all of the destroyers were Fletcher class either….

Hauptmann6 Inactive Member12 Feb 2009 10:10 p.m. PST

The really easy tell between a Brooklyn and Clevelands is one less 6" turret on a Cleveland. And then you have a Brooklyn sub-class. The Helena was the first of the class to have twin 5"38s instead of single 5"25s.


jefferysl Inactive Member13 Feb 2009 7:39 a.m. PST

My bad, I was thinking the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay. Yeah, looks like a lot of measure 21…I guess that was good scheme for night fighting. I picked up 4 round bridge Clevelands and 9 early Fletchers from GHQ. I'm starting to learn more about these Brooklynn spin off's like Helena, which had twin 5" 38 mounts instead of the open mounts on the early Brooklynns, and the Clevelands, which discarded one of the 6" turrets for a twin 5" 38 on the bow. I guess the Clevelands were less top heavy and had superior AAA because of this mod. I played Cape Esperance with some freinds last year using "Victory At Sea" rules (not my favorite, but they were fun). I had the Boise…you sure roll a LOT of attack dice firing 15x 6" guns!

McKinstry Fezian13 Feb 2009 8:05 a.m. PST

Clevelands were less top heavy

Clevelands were about as bad as it got in US WW2 cruisers for top heavy leading in large part to their rapid removal from the post-war fleet since the design never really planned on all the radars and AA. That 5"/38 twin was also carried a full deck higher than the Brooklyn's 5th turret.

The Brooklyn's were more of a Baltimore precursor than a Cleveland with Wichita being probably the best pre-war cruiser the US built.

Mal Wright Fezian Inactive Member04 May 2009 10:38 a.m. PST

Yep. The Cleveland class looked good, but were far too top heavy. Also internally crowded due to all the extra crew they needed. They are usually described as uncomfortable ships to serve on.
At the end of WW2 they nearly all went into reserve straight away and only a handful ever saw any further service. Whereas the pre war built Brooklyn class were selected for sale to other nations.
The Cleveland class also suffered from the emergency rate at which they were built. There was an urgent need for more cruisers and the rate at which they were being lost early in WW2 was alarming. If the rate of loss had kept up the ships under construction would be required as quickly as possible just to keep up.
Of course the rate of loss dropped off and replacements were not so drastically needed, but the commitment to fast build had been made and the Cleveland class suffered accordingly. Rather a shame as they were nice looking ships and to casual observation, very powerful. Even though rushed they were probably still superior to many of the enemy vessels they would have had to fight.

Mal Wright Fezian Inactive Member04 May 2009 8:20 p.m. PST

BTW…one of the reasons the Cleveland class were so over weight was that they had to be built with the available materials rather than that for which they had been designed. Thus they had steel up high in places where the designer intended aluminium, and heavier grade steel where thinner had been planned. This came about not only because of war shortages, but also because of the decision taken to rush them into service. Hence they could not be delayed until the right material was available.
If built as planned….and I think at least the first one was….the design was excellent. A great leap forward in light cruiser design because of their AA layout. It was only the urgency of war construction that presented difficulties. The original designers did an good job.

But over all….I think the Brooklyns were still better.

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