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"Team Yankee US vehicles: MERDC or plain Green?" Topic

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6,465 hits since 13 Dec 2015
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Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2015 6:22 p.m. PST

OK….I really don't know the answer to this, but I've done a little googling and it looks to me like 1985 was a transitional period for the US forces. Some site say US equipment was painted in MERDC, others say 3 color. And somewhere I read that most equipment was MERDC, but Abrams and Bradleys' were deployed just green. Even the painting guide in the Team Yankee rule book waffles…..

Anyone here have a "I was there" kinda answer or at least a more definitive one than 'maybe'?

OH…and if it was MERDC, I'm under the impression that there was a specific pattern that EVERY vehicle should be painted with….

thanks for your time,


Garand13 Dec 2015 6:44 p.m. PST

I don't have a "I was there" answer as I was 10 at the time. However, all my research suggests M1s, IPM1s and M2/M3 Bradleys were first fielded in Forest Green sans camo (see the Tankograd book on Reforger pt II, which has a lot of great pics). Some of the stateside M1s had a pseudo MERDC scheme (it did not fit the normal patterns) in a Summer Verdant pattern. See:


In the background you can see a Bradley in a similar scheme. Possibly some of these might reach Europe as reinforcements.

Other equipment was still in MERDC of course, like M113s. There is also a pic in the above mentioned book of an M1015A1 in 3 color NATO scheme (p.63).


Tankrider13 Dec 2015 7:00 p.m. PST

I don't recall seeing camo M1's in Europe 1985-1988 until the M1A1's started rolling out toward the end of my tour.

Here's how I remember the 105mm armed M1's in Germany in that time frame.


Mako1113 Dec 2015 7:00 p.m. PST

This has been asked a lot, recently, and the consensus seems to be plain green for the M1s and Brads for much/most/all of the Cold War.

Towards the end of the CW, some were given the NATO 3 color scheme.

As mentioned, some US units stateside did see the MERDC scheme.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Dec 2015 7:04 p.m. PST

I'm going with plain Forest Green for my US. That's what we had in 2AD in '86

Tgunner13 Dec 2015 7:18 p.m. PST

I guess that gives us carte blanche to paint any of the three?

I want to do the three color scheme because it's what my unit used in Knox and I thought (and still think) that it was just plain cool. But you know, basic Army green really strikes my fancy, plus it was used in Vietnam so that would give me the best bang for my M113 buck. So I'll probably do both of those schemes with the M113s being green and the M1s sporting the three color.

Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2015 7:19 p.m. PST

Thanks guys. I think plain green for M1s, MERDC for the light tracks is how I'm going…..

jekinder613 Dec 2015 7:23 p.m. PST

When did the USAEUR implement the 3-color NATO camo? It seems from previous discussion that M-1s and M-2s are plain forest green. Were M1-A1 or M-1 IP and M-2A1 still forest green or were they issued in NATO 3-color? Final possibly stupid question, 8th Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions still had M-113s in the Mechanized Battalions in 1989. Were the M-113s still in 4-color MERDC or were they in 3-color NATO? I ask as I plan do do 1989 as my era for Cold War gone hot.

Mako1113 Dec 2015 8:00 p.m. PST

For the US, I thought it was in the very late 1980s (perhaps 1989).

The Olive Drab website says the manuals were update in 1988 and 1990, though it's unclear when actual repainting started to take place:

This site, at the bottom, mentions all new items being shipped to Europe were in the NATO three-color scheme, starting as early as 1986:


Buck21513 Dec 2015 9:10 p.m. PST

The M60A3's and M113's we had in Germany (1986) were painted camo, while the new M1's and Bradley's we saw were green…

RedLion281 Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2015 10:42 p.m. PST

Were the M-113s still in 4-color MERDC or were they in 3-color NATO?

FWIW when I signed in to 1st AD in October 1984, all the vehicles were in NATO 3 color. The first M1A1's that came into the division in 1987 (1/37 Armor) were green. Prior to that the division was equipped with M60A3's.

Navy Fower Wun Seven14 Dec 2015 12:28 a.m. PST

FWIW doing all mine MERDC summer verdant to distinguish them from the Sovs…

freerangeegg14 Dec 2015 2:39 a.m. PST

MERDC was painted to a specific pattern.
This is a site I have found helpful:

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns14 Dec 2015 2:48 a.m. PST

I'm going with the "in times of war" scenario where depots would use what's available.

Martin Rapier14 Dec 2015 4:39 a.m. PST

All my Cold War US stuff is green, means I can use it for VN as well as double duty for my Bundeswehr M113s etc.

McWong7314 Dec 2015 5:00 a.m. PST

@Dark Knights, good choice.

Anyone know what colours the A10's in Europe were? Much variety?

McWong7314 Dec 2015 5:00 a.m. PST

@Dark Knights, good choice.

Anyone know what colours the A10's in Europe were? Much variety?

King Monkey14 Dec 2015 6:40 a.m. PST

A-10s were in the Euro 1 scheme


kallman14 Dec 2015 8:22 a.m. PST

Would one of you knowledgeable gents break this down for me in Vallejo color numbers and paint name please?

And if we could get the Soviet/WarPac colors as well that would be great.


Major Mike14 Dec 2015 8:24 a.m. PST

Fresh out of the factory or rebuild, vehicles were the dark green. The unit had to paint the camo scheme once the equipment reached the base motor pool. We were issued "new" M60a3's in Nov/Dec of 81. They got painted when the supply of paint, time available and weather permited, but, it was a battalion effort done at the company level. In less than a week all the tanks got painted once we started. Never saw a M113 in green, except when we got our M901's fresh from the factory.

Legion 414 Dec 2015 9:44 a.m. PST

At that time in Korea and at Ft. Benning, Ga. everything was pretty much in the standard 3 color pattern camo …

Garand14 Dec 2015 3:30 p.m. PST

Forest Green would be FS34079 IIRC, so 95. US Dark Green is the Vallejo match.

If you want to do Winter Temperate, it would be:

142. US Field Drab
95. US Dark Green
115. Khaki
& Black.

Coverage should be 40/40/10/10 of Field Drab, Forest Green, Sand, and Black.

Here is a good website that summarizes the various colors and gives FS numbers: link


McWong7314 Dec 2015 7:46 p.m. PST

Anyone have an idea what the equivalent is for AK or Ammo paints?

Lion in the Stars14 Dec 2015 9:40 p.m. PST

Yeah, Abrams and Brads in Forest Green, everything else in MERDC. Officially, anyway.

I've seen a lot of interesting paint jobs on the various vehicle depots I drive past. I swear that none of the green trucks have any brown paint on them, just green and black.

Jemima Fawr19 Dec 2015 5:45 a.m. PST

Another option: I'm looking here at some photos of 11th Cavalry M1s on exercise in 1983, sporting mud camouflage over the base green.

Miz Anna21 Dec 2015 4:33 p.m. PST

I'm planning to do my Abrams' in NATO/Forest green with "hasty" winter camo added, just to be different. I'll probaly to my M113s, etc. in Winter Verdant orsimilar MERDC.

CavScout8thCav28 Jul 2016 12:06 p.m. PST

Both units I was in 1AD and 3AD, in the 80's in Germany had the MERDC or 3 color NATO. They all arrived plain green and we had to paint them. Not a fun detail to be on. Lol

williamb28 Jul 2016 8:02 p.m. PST

The Osprey Vanguard 41 "The M1 Abrams Battle Tank" shows all eight variations of the MERDC patterns. The M1 pictured above is the US and Europe Verdant pattern. The patterns were supposed to be followed precisely, but in reality were difficult to match.

zaevor200020 Aug 2016 3:08 p.m. PST

From my time in E Trp, 2/2 ACR. All of our M1/M3 were Forest Green overall.

The M60s/M113 series were modified MERDC.

Of course the minute you go offroad you will tear up the countryside and the whole vehicle will be covered in mud (nothing like washing the vehicle down in the wash rack coming in from the field- especially if it's close to freezing).

I was there from Sep 85-Mar 88.


seneffe20 Aug 2016 5:55 p.m. PST

I've never seen a single image of a USAREUR M1, M2 or M3 up to about 1986 in any paint scheme other than plain Forest Green- except some unit applied mud 'overpaints'. The Blackhorse Cavalry appeared to be particularly keen on this- turning out some really interesting patterns on their vehicles.

NATO 3 colour from the later 80s of course, but I've never seen any photos of MERDC for these types in Europe.

Andy P05 Oct 2016 4:33 a.m. PST

Google Reforger 87 ( which i took part) you get pics of Green M60's and M1's and three cam tracks..

Weland05 Oct 2016 11:35 a.m. PST

I was a preteen Air Force brat in Europe during the early 80s. I recall the M113s all having camo. My memory is NATO, but some might have been MERDC.

THe M1s and M60s I saw were all green, but always muddy when we would drive by them in the field. I dont recall seeing any Bradleys.

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