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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
Photo # NH 96164: Douglas TBD-1 painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 8, August 1940

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY AIRCRAFT -- 1922-1962 DESIGNATION SYSTEM --

Douglas TBD-1 Torpedo Planes --
1940 Experimental Camouflage

In mid-1940, the Navy tested a number of aircraft camouflage schemes designed by the noted artist and Naval Reserve officer McClelland Barclay. Some of these designs were applied to TBD-1 torpedo planes of at least two squadrons, VT-3 and VT-5, and were tested during fleet exercises held at that time. These tests had no lasting effect on U.S. Navy aircraft markings, except, perhaps, to persuade Naval Aviators that disruptive camouflage schemes had little use on planes intended for employment at sea.

This page features all our views of Douglas TBD-1 torpedo planes wearing experimental camouflage schemes tested in 1940.

For other photographs of Navy planes painted in 1940 experimental camouflage, see:

  • Brewster F2A Fighters -- 1940 Experimental Camouflage.

    For additional views of TBD-1 aircraft, see:

  • Douglas TBD-1 "Devastator" Torpedo Planes .


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: NH 96161

    Douglas TBD-1 torpedo Plane
    (Bureau # 0320),
    of Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3)

    At Naval Air Station, North Island, California, 22 August 1940. It is painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 7.
    This aircraft was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, while serving with Torpedo Squadron Two on USS Lexington (CV-2).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 58KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96162

    Douglas TBD-1 torpedo Plane
    (Bureau # 0320),
    of Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3)

    At Naval Air Station, North Island, California, 22 August 1940. It is painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 7.
    This aircraft was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, while serving with Torpedo Squadron Two on USS Lexington (CV-2).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 565 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96163

    Douglas TBD-1 torpedo Plane
    (Bureau # 0320),
    of Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3)

    At Naval Air Station, North Island, California, 22 August 1940. It is painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 7.
    This aircraft was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, while serving with Torpedo Squadron Two on USS Lexington (CV-2).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 61KB; 740 x 600 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96164

    Douglas TBD-1 torpedo Plane
    (Bureau # 0339),
    of Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3)

    At Naval Air Station, North Island, California, 22 August 1940. It is painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 8.
    Note .30 caliber machinegun in the plane's after cockpit. Original side markings, "3-T-?" can be faintly seen on the after fuselage through the badly weathered paint job.
    This aircraft was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, while serving with Torpedo Squadron Two on USS Lexington (CV-2).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 600 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96165

    Douglas TBD-1 torpedo Plane
    (Bureau # 0339),
    of Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3)

    At Naval Air Station, North Island, California, 22 August 1940. It is painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 8.
    Note .30 caliber machinegun in the plane's after cockpit. Uncamouflaged VT-3 TBD-1s are in the background.
    This aircraft was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, while serving with Torpedo Squadron Two on USS Lexington (CV-2).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 69KB; 740 x 600 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96166

    Douglas TBD-1 torpedo Plane
    (Bureau # 0339),
    of Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3)

    At Naval Air Station, North Island, California, 22 August 1940. It is painted in McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 8.
    This aircraft was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, while serving with Torpedo Squadron Two on USS Lexington (CV-2).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 84KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 95314

    Douglas TBD-1 Torpedo Planes
    ,
    of Torpedo Squadron Five (VT-5)

    Parked on the after flight deck of USS Yorktown (CV-5) at Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, California, in June 1940.
    Three of these aircraft are painted in an experimental color scheme used during Fleet Problem XXI.
    This section of the ship was examined when Yorktown's wreck was located in May 1998. The after thirty feet (approximately) of the flight deck was missing, but most other features seen were present, including the ship's name on her stern.
    This view is cropped from Photo # 80-G-652042.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 130KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     

    For other photographs of Navy planes painted in 1940 experimental camouflage, see:

  • Brewster F2A Fighters -- 1940 Experimental Camouflage.

    For additional views of TBD-1 aircraft, see:

  • Douglas TBD-1 "Devastator" Torpedo Planes .


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


    Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

    Page made 14 February 2001
    Caption corrected 8 September 2006