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 Author  Topic: Color of boats in Ron 9 movies
David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Apr 20, 2010 - 9:11pm
Greetings all,
The color of the boats in this video caught my attention. The color has badly shifted in many cases. But I thought the boats at the early part of the video looked like 5N (Navy Blue). I did notice that some of the boats were green in color too. You could see the green hue fade in and out.

It leads me to my conversations with Mr. Keresey and Mr. Iles, both skippers of PT-105 who both told me independently that the boat was "battleship gray" and "gray".

I was wondering what you all thought about this. If the veterans, Dr. Ross, and John Snyder are listening I would appreciate you looking at these movies and providing your thoughts.

Thanks everyone!
Dave

David Waples

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 - 2:46am
No doubt that when viewing this short film, you can clearly see different shades of colors on the boats. Some of the shots are pretty clear as to the color. The first series of shots do appear to be a blue/grey color, then shifting back and forth you can see shades of green. In one of the scenes with two of the boats tied together you can see the torpedo tubes of both boats which show that those boats have two differnt paint schemes. Of course, this might have been caused by the shadows of the day. In the scene were Cmdr. Kelly stages his departure in a small dingy, you can clearly see the color of the boat, as the dingy seems to be a darker grey color. In viewing this short film, I see more of the boats in the blue/grey schme then of the overall green...................


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  Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 - 3:53am
I've only watched Dick's video three or four times, but they all look gray to me, even the canvas covers of the SCR-517A radars.

The differences in hues seem to me to come from both the age and aforementioned "shifting" color tones of the film and the varying differences in the particular angles of the light and shade at the moment (of filming).


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smallwi

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of smallwi  Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 - 12:27pm
David,
With respect to the painting of PT boats do not look for any kind of consistency, as there was none after the boats left the factory. The early 80 foot ELCO boats (103 series) were factory painted light gray (5-L) on vertical surfaces and deck gray (5-D) on horizontal surfaces (except those painted in the deception pattern, zebra stripes). The best I can determine is that the boats maintained this scheme through 1942 and into early 1943. Beyond that point things start to get very fragmented. I believe this is due to two factors: foremost the availability of paint (and a need to do so), secondary a desire by the crews to create as much stealth as they could.

A number of the boats were painted "green", shades thereof . The base color was readily available from the Marine Corp and was modified by the boat crews to meet their own personal requirements. One account I read suggested they mixed in lots of white. You can really use a literary license on what you think this color looked like on any particular boat. Other colors may have potentially been available:

5-L (light grey, could be called Battleship grey)
5-D (dark grey)
5-O (Ocean grey, a dark blue grey color)
5-H (Haze gray, a light blue grey color)
5-N (dark blue, refered to as Navy blue)
20-B (deck blue)

These dolors could have been used by the crews either out of Navy supply stock or obtained from larger ships. As for your question regarding 5-N, it could be possible. I recall reading that 5-N was in short supply in 1942 because of the heavy demand for blue pigment. PT crews might have been hard pressed to get 5-N in a forward operating area, but it might have happened. The reality is things were chaotic and the PT Squadrons struggled with getting priority for delivery of their supplies, paint was probably down the list of things to get. I would suspect that gasoline, ammunition and food where the top concern.

Regardless of my thoughts on the subject, take a look at Coastal Forces Volume II. Al Ross provides a very nice list of the color schemes on specific boats that he could document. The rest of the details are most likely lost to the fog of war and the ravages of time.


Bill Smallshaw

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Alex Johnson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Alex Johnson  Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 - 1:51pm
Some stills from the RON 9 footage showing the colors of the boats.













ALEX


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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 - 6:12pm
Thanks guys,
I think I'm going to go with 5D for my 105 boat. More faded on the deck than on vertical surfaces. Unless somebody can offer up a very convincing color photo of the 105 boat in green I have to honor the memory of these two great skippers. I know the 105 ultimately became camouflage on the hull but neither skipper recalls this while under their command.
Dave

David Waples

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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 - 8:39pm
You'll notice in Alex Johnson still shots the PT-160 front (with the cartoon of a sailor in a boat with binoculars) that the artwork has a line around it indicating ti was masked off during the re-painting of the boat. That says that boat (the 160) is no longer grey.

Unfortunately when I spoke to Captain Liebenow today (PT-157) ....he knows his PT was grey when in Panama during the 4-months of training but he's not clear about when it was re-painted after arriving in the Pacific. His torpedo man (Welford West] said yesterday however he thought it was at Talagi when it was in dry-dock. Welford thought that was early on however Captain Liebenow today he said he only recalls being in Talagi once for repairs after getting pretty shot-up and needing an engine replaced. So it might have been that the early PTs ran original grey until some opportune time that would require the PT to be dry-docked (which is really the only time to paint a boat) and then they were painted with whatever scheme and whatever color/s they had on hand at that moment.

At their ages today (90-years old for Captain Liebenow and 88 for Welford) its hard to press harder fro detail and I suspect these moments were not remarkable ones for them so it is what we make it out to be in our forensic research.

Bridge


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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 - 9:25am
Added some screen shots from the direct transfer of VHS tape to Macintosh files.
I then open the images in to PhotoShop and applied its "Auto Color" adjustment. As you can see the 160 is could be a camo version, there are two shades of green clearly shown (not completely sure it's just a shadow effect - its a big switch). in another angle shot the same green patterns can easily be seen. The 159 as probably a green color based on the cabin shot. In both you can clearly see as mentioned before, the masking line a round the boat art with the masked area being a painted artwork over a medium gray.

You'll note that when the original VHS from Camera Film was done (in the 80's) they had the film loaded in backwards in the film projector, hence the backward appearance of the boat numbers. When I made my VHS to DIgital Computer file I flip the the video in "MPEG StreamClip" (a free video editing/conversion program for both Macs and PC's - excellent, excellent program).

Late last night i hunted down and hauled down the original VHS Tapes to refresh my mind about color. As a note, remember these original transfers were made back in the 80's with the current technologies and budgets in mind. Typically in those days transfers were made by projecting the filmed movie images to a projector screen and place the VHS camera in front of the projector just out of the projectors lens view. This would be done in a darkened room. The actual VHS tapes vary widely, very widely and more then likely the same with the various film clips. Unfortunately there isn't any happy medium, it's eight very dark with wild color shifts, or very washed out with little color at all. When I made my first cut with the digital file I created, I changed the color saturation and brightness to alleviate some of these issues. For what it's worth, below are some of the Screen captures. I added the shot with the two grounded boats only because in one of the posts mention was made.

In other words COLOR is open to one's wild imagination. Must remember, this was war time, no formal state side naval bases, and I'm sure paint was what ever could be, made, begged, borrowed or stolen from what ever navy, army, marine or local sources they had.

Dick . . .














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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 - 11:20am
Looks like a darker gray painted over a lighter gray, to me.

I don't see green anywhere...


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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 - 1:06pm
The color you see really depends on the age, quality/type of your computer monitors, video cards, and video card software as well as temperature of the monitor - a whole lot of stuff dictates the color each one of us see from our monitors. However the colors I referenced was analyzed by PhotoShop was typical for med gray range in the center unmasked area of PT-160, the left side was in the light medium green range and the right side varied from medium dark green to very dark green/black.

My monitor clearly shows the range as mentioned above from green to gray to very dark green/black. Does it show the range that photoshop called out - I don't real know, however it does shown the difference I mentioned. Since I'm in the Graphic Arts/Publishing business, my monitors are color corrected every morning with a Spyder monitoring puck and Adobe calibration software. When/if working with photographic images for a long period of time during the day I do a recalibration in the early afternoon. it just SOP for us.

Dick . . .


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