United States Navy Camouflage 2 - Fleet Carriers
By Larry Sowinski & Tom Walkowiak

Reviewed by Jeff Herne


 

Availability: Floating Drydock and Pacific Front

Price: $10.95

 

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Originally published in 1977, Floating Drydock's Camouflage 2 specifically covers USN Fleet carriers that carried dazzle patterns during the Second World War. They have excluded 3 carriers, the Lexington (CV-16), the Cabot (CVL-28), and Langley (CVL-27). All three ships carried solid Measure 21 schemes, so there is really no reason to include them from a camouflage perspective. The book is entirely in black and white, and features 139 photos and 12 camouflage patterns over 64 pages.

This book was compiled nearly 20 years ago, and the publishers didn't have the luxury of computers to enhance the photos. As a result, some of the photos are far too contrasted to be of any use to the modeler. The majority are of good quality, and the few that are lacking are usually distance shots. There is also some speculation in the book about patterns and colors on particular vessels, most of which have been resolved with the passing of time. The book is laid out according to camouflage design, and groups together ships that carried each particular pattern.

A brief paragraph explaining the usage of colors and dates used on particular vessels starts each chapter. A high point are the patterns for the earlier non-Essex carriers, including Saratoga (CV-3), Ranger (CV-4), and Enterprise (CV-6). Also featured are patterns for light and escort carriers, a topic that has been virtually ignored in the past. This book is a must have for ship modelers and naval camouflage enthusiasts, and to date there is no other compilation that encompasses all of the patterns for WWII carriers. There is also an addendum to Camouflage 1 in the back of Camouflage 2, with the addition of new data and some corrections directed at the first volume. For the $10.95 suggested retail, the reader gets about $100 worth of data from the patterns alone. I would recommend this book for the modeler or camouflage enthusiast.