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Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
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Forum Name: PT Boats - General
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Topic: Color photos of PT-103, 105, 107
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?cid=101&fid=102&tid=196



Does anyone have or know where to find color photos of these boats? I'm especially interested in their color once the boats transferred to Rendova.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the actual color. I've been told "Battleship Gray", "Forest Green", "MTB Green", "Tropical Green" etc. In the photos I've seen published during this transition to Rendova the boats look much darker than they were when transferred to this area.

I've been working on PT-105 for many years now and I'm stuck on the color because I really want to get this right, or as close to right as I can get.

Any help is very much appreciated.
Thank you
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:57pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



David,

That's opened for debate sir.

Like you - I've been told the same array of colors. I've even been criticized for taken a vet's assertion that his boat was Olive Drab. The way I look at it is this; you're in a forward area, you need to get your boat painted, maybe the quartermaster doesn't have ample amounts of Green 2, Green 3, MTB Green, Tropical Green or Navy Green and he "borrows" some Olive Drab paint from a nearby Marine or Army unit and gives it to you.

My suggestion is; paint it in either Tropical Green or Navy Green with a Norfolk 65-A Anti-fouling Red bottom and maybe, just lighten the green (whichever green) to simulate bleaching by the sun.

Garth

You've got a question, I've got an answer.

Posted By: TGarth Connelly | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 4:20am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



David: I concur with Garth's assessment on the boat colors. There is ample evidence that the Solomons PTs were painted (and repainted) with whatever greens were available or could be concocted. They were used hard and were at the end of an awfully long supply line.

Will

Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 9:38am
Total Posts: 1856 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm



Garth, I hate to be critical of you , but being a quartermaster on a pt boat, I sort of feel humiliated to think that someone thinks that a quartermaster hands out paint, or any other supplies. That's the job of a quartermaster in the army
In the navy, a QM is sort of an assistant to the navigator, he signals, he attends the helm, he keeps a log,etc. His duties are carried out in the bridge of the ship,
On a PT boat, we signaled,kept the log, boxed the compass,navigated, were aware of moonrise, moonset, high tide, low tide , attended the radar,etc. During patrols we alternated on watches, with the radioman ,contacted the base, other boats, aircraft. So you see, if we wanted paint we got it from the storekeeper.
This is not meant to be sarcastic, but to give you some idea of what a quartermaster is. I hope you accept this as helping you increase your knowledge of the boats that you seem to treasure.



Posted By: Russell Pullano | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 11:22am
Total Posts: 131 | Joined: Oct 23, 2006 - 7:31am



Mr. Pullano,

I meant no disrespect of your Rank sir. I was using the term that my father used to say where they acquired paint. My father was the Bosun on SC-699 in 1944-46 and he said, "We'd go up to the Quartermaster Shack and picked up the paint."

From the way he used the term - I took it as being a base personnel rating. I apologize.

Garth

You've got a question, I've got an answer.

Posted By: TGarth Connelly | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 11:48am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Hey Garth,
Thanks for the reply. At some point I need to give in and just go for it. I just can't buy the Tropical Green color from looking at the photos of these boats. Clearly these boats were painted about the same color when transferred from Panama. These are the photos that show the boats with depth charges in place of the stern torpedoes. They seemed to stay this color up until some point before they relocated to Rendova. At that point they were painted another color. If you look at PT-103 and PT-107 they are the same color again but clearly much darker than when they originally arrived in the theatre.

So that's my dilemma. I thought I would give it one more shot to see if maybe one of the veterans recalls what was done with the paint at this specific point in time, or maybe a photo has surfaced in the last couple of years since I posted questions on the subject.

Your point about the paint is well taken. Looking at the photos of PT-109 on the foredeck you would almost think that the port torpedo tube is painted differently than the rest of the boat. Maybe so since they had a misfire incident with this tube in high seas. It could be quite a mutt at this point and it's hard to say if she was ever painted like the 103 and 107 boats before going to Rendova and ultimately sunk. I know that Donovan wrote in his book that the 109 was painted "forest green" and a veteran that was involved in repainting these boats recalls stripping off "forest green" paint from the boats in this squadron.

As always thanks for your input and insight on this issue. Happy New Year to you.

Dave


David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 6:47pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



Let's give this photo business a go....
My goal is to determine the color of the boats in these images...If I were just looking at them I would have said Dick Keresey was right, they're battleship gray. But are they really dark green??? Hopefully there's a veteran that can add some light... or in this case color.
Thank you

[image]http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/David_Waples/PT-103inroutetoRendova.jpg[/image]

[image]http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/David_Waples/PT-107Rendova.jpg[/image]

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 7:05pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



FWIW I have a video copy of a film that was produced by Elco during the war. I'm sure many other people in this group have the same video, which is called "Giant Killers." It's a color film about how Elco built the boats. At the end of the video they show completed boats being run through their sea trials. There is no copyright date in the open or closing titles of the film so I have no idea when it was made. However at least one of the boats being shown in sea trials has the aft-mounted 40mm instead of the earlier 20mm. One of the boats displays the number 466. At least the second two numbers look like sixes-- the first number is definitely a "4."

With one exception all of the boats in this film are grey with dull red antifouling paint on the bottoms. The exception is a boat that has a camoflage scheme of battlship gray with white splotches breaking up the gray.

In the film the boats exhibit a number of different shades of gray, but I believe this is due to the differences in lighting, the exposures used by the cameramen, and the film processing and printing. I suspect that the color gray used by the factory was pretty standardized.

In the begining of the film there are scenes of Elco executives and engineers at work. Some of the scenes show large PT models on the desks, All the models are painted battleship gray with dull red bottoms.



C. Marin Faure
Sammamish, Washington

Posted By: C Marin Faure | Posted on: Jan 3, 2007 - 11:11pm
Total Posts: 27 | Joined: Dec 20, 2006 - 11:43pm



David -

Just between you, me and the bedpost, I think the 109 was either Navy Green or Olive Drab. But, I normally get criticized for holding that believe.

Garth

You've got a question, I've got an answer.

Posted By: TGarth Connelly | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 4:06am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Garth
Here are a couple of other photos of the 107 boat and 109 boat. These were taken at Panama. It is my understanding that they were painted green here by mixing red and yellow paint. True? I don't know for sure but I'm told this was relayed by a crew member that was there when they were painted.

Compare that to the later photos of the 107 boat in route to Rendova. Same paint with different lighting? Look at the 103 boat too. Black and white photos can play tricks, and printing in books can make the issue more confusing. To me the photos taken in roue to Rendova in my earlier post look darker and with different shading. Close inspection of the 107 deck shows heavy weathering to the point where you can see primer coats or bare wood. So I doubt this was fresh paint but it could just be black and white photos playing tricks.

I've experimented mixing black and yellow paint and that can certainly give you an olive drab color or "MTB Green". And like you I've been called out about this.

When taking it to the model level one also has to account for giving the subject a scale look. In other words I wouldn't use the same paint used on the real subject on the scale subject because the color wouldn't look right in a reduced size. Or another way of saying it is what would the color look like if viewed from a distance. Much different than when you're right next to it. Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, a color photo of these boats would be huge.
Thanks everyone.

[image]http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/David_Waples/PT-109Panama.jpg[/image]

[image]http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/David_Waples/PT-107Panama.jpg[/image]

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 5:50am
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



David,

Unfortunately - I was not able to see the photos - if you were to email them to my TCONNELL@Travelers.com and cc-ing my own, home email address of PTConsultingNHR@aol.com - I will take a gander at them and I will try and give you an informed answer.

As for them mixing red and yellow paint to get green paint? I cannot intelligently answer that for you. Perhaps if there is a surviving crewmember from that time people out there, they can tell you.

Garth

You've got a question, I've got an answer.

Posted By: TGarth Connelly | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 6:33am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



I AM NOT EXPERT ON DIFFERENT PAINTS BUT AS INFO,WHEN I WAS AT EMIRAU ON PT 108 WE WENT INTO DRYDOCK ONCE TO REPLACE ENGINES AND DUE A GENERAL OVERHAUL ..AT THIS TIME WE ALSO REPAINTED THE BOAT.IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY WE FIRST PAINTED WHAT WE THEN CALLED "RED LEAD"PAINT ON THE BOTTOM FIRST.THEN WE PAINTED SOME SORT OF DULL YELLOW ON NEXT.THEN WE PAINTED A "GREEN" OVER THE YELLOW.BY PAINTING THE GREEN OVER THE YELLOW IT "DILUTED" THE GREEN COLOR SOME.DON'T KNOW IF THIS HELPS OR NOT BUT MY MEMORY IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE.;
WE WERE SUPPLIED THE PAINTS FROM THE BASE.THE REST OF THE BOAT WAS PAINTED a green,.two shades.one dark and the camo waves a little darker.(in the sape of waves) earl


earl richmond

Posted By: earl | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 1:55pm
Total Posts: 197 | Joined: Oct 18, 2006 - 12:13pm



David:

I have found that when trying to go back 60 plus years, the memory seems to fade in time. Heck, I sometimes forget things that happened the previous week. Case in point. I have found a Company that will produce the white Cotton Coveralls worn at The Elco Naval Division. Seems like a easy thing right? Wrong. Elco had these produced with a different color collar and a stripe around the waist. As I try to be as accurate as I can in my PT BOAT EXHIBITS, I needed to find out what color. I tried to look at my color DVD, GIANT KILLERS, but could not get an accurate color because the film is 62 years old, plus lighting and other factors proved to me that they were either green, black or Navy Blue.

Now, I called three different former workers who at one time or another worked at the Elco Plant. Guess what, I got three different answers as to what colors were on the garments. First color was black, the second women remembered grey, and the third remembered dark Navy Blue. So, you see sometimes you might not get the answer you are looking for. In my case, I will go with the third workers assesment for two reasons. One it was what I believed was the color when I viewed the film, and two, this man was employeed at Elco from 1941-1949. I have to think that after 10 years of wearing this type coverall he should be pretty sure of himself. Unless I can find a colr photo ( which is highly unlikely ) I will go with the dark Navy Blue.

Same thing with the colors of the boats. Like Garth pointed out. The boat was grey or green and whatever choice you decide will not be wrong. I have known several of the crewmembers of the 109 and again, some say it was grey, some green. Some say no deoth charge up front, some say yes it did. I have found that a black and white photo really does not provide evidence to colors because what appears to be dark in the photo could be a multitude of dark colors, black,grey,dark blue, you get the picture. In any event, good luck with your project. You are certainly not the first one on this message board to get caught up in the color scheme of things



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 2:01pm
Total Posts: 3138 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Hi Earl,
I think I exchanged emails with you before. I believe the color I'm trying to capture was the color of the boat before you took it into dry dock for overhaul. Do you happen to remember the color of the boat at that time? Certainly not in detail but I'm very curious if it was green or gray.
Thanks so much for your time.
Dave



David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 7:34pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



Hi Frank,
I completely agree with you. I can still remember the color of every car I ever drove including the Triumph Spitfire I painted myself. That goes back over 30 years. Could I match it? No. But I would be thrilled to at least clear up the notion of green or gray with respect to the first pictures I posted. From there it becomes artistic license I think.
Thanks so much for your post.
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 4, 2007 - 7:48pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm






















GOOD MORNING DAVID.
I THINK WE WENT INTO DRYDOCK AROUND JULY OF 1944 FOR OVERHAUL .IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THE BOAT COLORS WERE LIKE BATTLESHIP GRAY ON DECK AND ABOVE DECK.ie; GUN MOUNTS,COCKPIT,ETC. THE COLORS ON SIDE ,I THINK, WERE TWO SHADES OF GREEN..DARK FOR UNDERCOAT AND DARKER FOR CAMO WAVE EFFECT. WHEN WE SCRAPED THE KEEL WE FOUND IT HAD THE RED LEAD DIRECTLY ON BOTTON, THE YELLOW,LIKE OCHRE,ON TOP OF THAT AND THE GREEN OVER THE YELLOW. NO WAVE EFFECT ON THE KEEL THOUGH. WHEN WE REPAINTED WE KEPT THE SAME COLORS AND EFFECT
I HOPE I AM GIVING THE CORRECT INFO ON THIS AND COULD STAND CORRECTED IF ANYONE HAS BETTER INFO. EARL.



















earl richmond

Posted By: earl | Posted on: Jan 5, 2007 - 5:35am
Total Posts: 197 | Joined: Oct 18, 2006 - 12:13pm



Thank you Earl. I appreciate you responding to my questions. I'm hearing more and more that the boat is gray. I'll keep listening.
All the best
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 5, 2007 - 7:24pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



In the book,The Forgotten Ship, J.E.Bloomer mentions that as the Tender Mobjack was transiting to the Pacific, "Our navy blue ship was painted two colors green and black amphibious camoflage."

Roger Q Callaway

Posted By: Roger Callaway | Posted on: Jan 20, 2007 - 8:17am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



David,,,....If I remember correctly, red and yellow makes orange ,not green. Blue and yellow makes greemn.. My boat was gray. Period



Posted By: Russell Pullano | Posted on: Jan 20, 2007 - 12:36pm
Total Posts: 131 | Joined: Oct 23, 2006 - 7:31am



Thank you Russell. My original posting of Black and Yellow is correct. I've mixed the two colors to get shades of olive drab. Blue and Yellow also makes green.

Which boat did you serve on?

Thank you
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 20, 2007 - 10:21pm
Total Posts: 1569 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm