United States Navy
Ships - 2

Supplement to second revision of Ships-2
March 1943


Measure 23: Light Gray System
An ANTISUBMARINE measure applicable to any vessel



Ships painted with this measure have high visibility from high angle aircraft observation.


Ships painted with this measure are not visible as far as darker ships when seen against the sky background.  At night and twilight and on cloudy days, a white ship would even be better.  However, on clear days a white ship seen in strong sunlight can be seen much farther than a light gray ship of this measure, which reflects less light than white reflects.  That is the reason this shade has been chosen instead of white.  Once sighted, ships painted in a uniform light color reveal their identity more quickly than dark ships or light pattern ships.  Therefore this measure is not as effective as the light pattern measure which confuses the ship's identity.


Name Formula Mixture Reflectance
Deck Blue 20-B Issued Ready Mixed 5
Light Gray 5-L 1 pint 5-TM to 5 Gallons of white (5-U) 35
White 5-U Issued Ready Mixed 75


  1. Paint decks and other horizontal surfaces; Deck Blue 20-B.

  2. Paint exposed undersides of decks; White (5-U).

  3. Paint exposed vertical surfaces; Light Gray (5-L).


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