During the First and the Second World Wars, many ships were camouflaged with Dazzle Patterns. This was true for both the Merchant Navy as well as for the Military Navy. Vessels from both the UK and the US were camouflaged.
The Rhode Island School of Design has a fine collection of cards describing various camouflage patterns used on American merchant vessels during World War II World War I. Some 50 of the cards can be seen here at the RISD Fleet Library: Special Collections.
Overall, the library holds 455 plans of both the port and starboard sides of 10 types of merchant vessels – including multiple designs for each of those ships. I didn’t have an example of a merchant vessel in dazzle and the US Navy’s Historical Center website was off the air when I was trying to write this piece up.
These plans were donated by Maurice L. Freedman who was a camoufleur during the Second World War, organising the painting of ships on behalf of the U.S. Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation. The US Navy provided the dazzle plans originally.
The “Bedazzled” exhibit runs in RISD’s Fleet Library from 26 January 2009 to 29 March 2009, so hop into that website and check it out now before it gets taken down again.