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

Measure 23
Light Gray System
(Source: Ships-2 Supplement 1 March 1943)

Sample Drawing of MS23 Camouflage Scheme

Vertical Surfaces:

Paint all exposed vertical surfaces: Light Gray 5-L.

Paint all exposed undersides of decks: White 5-U.

Horizontal Surfaces:

Paint all decks and 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.