An online database of camouflage used by 
United State Naval Warships during WWII

Measure 5 Painted Bow Wave
(Source: Ships-2 January 1941)

USS Northampton (CA-28) in Measure 5 False Bow Wave

Vertical Surfaces:

ms5_aircraft_carrier.jpg (56496 bytes)The upper edge of the bow wave is painted white; the dark body of the bow wave is painted a dark blue or a dark gray.  In case the bow wave is painted on a ship which is painted dark gray, as in Measure 1, the bow wave painting merely amounts to outlining the upper edge of the wave in white.

All vertical surfaces above the top of the stacks shall be painted Light Gray 5-L.  

Horizontal Surfaces:

All horizontal surfaces except wood decks shall be painted Dark Gray 5-D.  The systems differ only in the painting of the vertical surfaces.  In case of doubt, as on sloping surfaces, use Dark Gray 5-D.


The camouflage painting need not be exact or carried into corners.  Small gear, wires, rigging, and areas permanently in shadow, as under boats, etc., need not be painted with the camouflage colors.  There is no objection to exact or careful painting which may be desired for the sake of good appearance at close range.

All bright or shiny objects, no matter how insignificant, shall be painted, covered, or removed.

Glass windows shall be covered or removed, especially during the day in sunny weather, and at night when anticipating searchlight discovery.  Insofar as conditions permit, similar precautions shall be taken on airport lenses.

Wood Decks.

Wood decks, except on submarines, shall not be darkened pending further instructions.  The best paint or stain for this purpose is being investigated.