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

Measure 2 Graded System
(Source: Ships-2 January 1941)

USS Gleaves DD-423 in Measure 2 Graded System.

Vertical Surfaces:

Paint all vertical surfaces above the deck edge, such as sides of deckhouses, superstructure, stacks, masts (and pole masts) etc., Light Gray 5-L.  Paint the sides of the hull with three bands, the upper band Light Gray 5-L, the middle band Ocean Gray 5-O, and the lower (nearest the waterline) Dark Gray 5-D as illustrated on plates 2 and 3.  In case the ship has an excessively great shear, or has a forecastle, the bands should be of approximately equal width at the bow, retaining the widths of the lower two bands and diminishing the width of the upper band from forward aft.

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.