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PT-174 & the Zebra Scheme

Further Discussion on the Adaptor Scheme (Zebra Scheme)

It has been debated that the Adaptor Scheme contained a yellowish tint and green stripes. I’ve also heard that, in addition to the black and white stripes that it contained something that Elco called “counter-shade gray.” This counter-shade gray was a very light blue-gray.

In the Adaptor Scheme chapter of the Camouflage Manuscript, compiled by D.L. Swasey, he describes the painting process as the boat being “sprayed in an under coat of flat white and then the lines were painted in black stripes.

Swasey also contended that Elco wanted the purpose of the scheme to be that the further away from the boat the onlooker was the more the stripes would blend together which in effect made the boat gray out. It was intended as a combination of low visibility and distortion.

A PT boat veteran is reported as saying that the Adaptor Scheme had a pink base coat with black lines painted over that. But, this cannot be confirmed. Changing of colors could have occurred in the combat theater because the crews would not always be able to stick the original colors and would have used other colors.

But, as anyone knows, this is a supposition, solely based on what veterans have said and cannot be confirmed.

This information was supplied by the WWII PT Boats Museum and Archives
and used with their permission.

PT-174’s Guns & Schemes

PT-174 had a 40mm Bofors gun mounted on her foredeck at Elco’s Bayonne factory. Elco strengthened the deck under where the gun was to be mounted. In addition to the gun, the factory fashioned a “V” shaped shield forward of the mount and a short wall that surrounded the gun, on three sides. On the inside of this wall, additional ammunition clips could be hung for easy access.

PT-174 before application of the Zebra Scheme
Click for larger view

This particular gun was on the 174 when her Adaptor scheme was applied. However, the gun and shield was not on the boat when it was shipped to the Solomon Island with Squadron 10. Remembrances of some of the 174’s first crew, Squadron 10’s commander knew of the boat’s reinforced foredeck and a second 40mm was installed. This gun was an Army type and also had a shield, but a very crude one without a wall.

The photo shown is of the PT-174 in the Adaptor Scheme
with the 40mm on the foredeck and a 20mm on her stern.
click for larger view

The PT-174 with the quad 20mm Thunderbolt on the stern.
This was taken in 1945 in the Philippines and she's wearing
a variation of the Measure 31/20L camouflage scheme.
click for larger view

The above information was supplied by Wayne Traxel.