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

Measure 12 (Modified)
Graded System
(Source: Ships-2 Rev. 1 September 1941)

USS Buchanan (DD-484) in MS 12 Modified Camouflage

Vertical Surfaces:

Surfaces and corners of surfaces useful in estimating course angles may be broken-up by means of large splotches of paint.   These should not be smaller than the resolving power of the eye at the ranges at which it is desired to create confusion.  The resolving power of the human eye by day is about two to three minutes of arc depending on the color contrast.  Very small blotches are ineffective.  The total area covered by the pattern should not be more than about 1/3 of the area of the surface in question.  The splotches may be regular or irregular.  The color of the splotch should be chosen from the three Blue Gray colors if  Plate 12 to contrast with the color of the surface.  Thus if the surface is Sea Blue the splotches are Haze Gray, and vice versa; if the surface is Ocean Gray the splotches are Sea Blue.  the edges of the splotches may either be left sharp, or blurred into the surface color, or partially sharp and partially blurred.  No exact form of spots can be specified.  Some examples are given in Plate 19.  It is probable that almost any spot pattern devised at random, within the above restrictions of size, relative area, and color contrast, will on the average be as effective as any other pattern.

Horizontal Surfaces:

Horizontal surfaces, Deck Blue, 20-B.

Wood Decks.

Wood decks except on submarines and carriers shall be darkened to the color Deck Blue.  Deck Blue paint shall be used in lieu of stain for this purpose.

Canvas Covers.

Canvas covers visible from the outside vessel are to be dyed a color corresponding to Deck Blue.


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.