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The United States Navy saying “haze gray and underway” refers firstly to the color “haze gray”. Haze gray is a paint color scheme used by USN warships to make the ships harder to see clearly. The gray color reduces the contrast of the ships with the horizon, and reduces the vertical patterns in the ship’s appearance. It is the color of USN combatant and auxiliary surface ships, as opposed to the dark gray or black color of submarines, the bright colors of ceremonial vessels and aircraft, or the white of hospital ships and some U.S. Coast Guard cutters. Secondly, “underway”, as opposed to being anchored, docked, alongside, moored, or otherwise attached to a fixed place. Thus, “haze gray and underway” is shorthand for naval surface warships at sea. It is also used to refer to life in a vessel at sea with the working Navy, as opposed to shore postings.


The Old adage of “Sailors belong on ships, and ships belong at sea” is one that is often repeated by Sailors throughout the ages. Since the early days of the Continental Navy Sailors have grown attached to these vessels that they called home. The Old Salts would often “borrow” a piece of the ship when they were departing for the last time, as a remembrance of all the times both good and bad alike that had transpired and the bonds of brotherhood established with their mates. This tradition over the years developed into the modern day “Plank Owner”.

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A “plank owner” is an individual who was a member of the crew of a ship when that ship was placed in commission. In earlier years, this applied to a first commissioning; since then, it has often been applied to one who was part of a recommissioning crew as well. “Plank owner” is not an official Navy term, and has consequently been variously defined by different Navy units. Historically, a plankowner in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, or his widow, could petition the Naval Historical Center‘s Curator Branch for a piece of the deck when the ship was decommissioned. This practice has been discontinued and stocks of planking that existed at the Curator branch have been donated to various veteran’s organizations.


Even though today within the “modern day” US Navy, Sailors in port are often given a Housing Allowance or a barracks room on shore Sailors are tied to THEIR ship. With sea duty tours ranging around 3 to 5 years dependant on your Rate and NEC it is understandable that Sailors would think of it as home. What better way to show your Navy Pride than by sporting a Haze Gray Underway Shirt with corresponding decal for your ride!

Have your Hull Number, and Ship’s Name added to your custom printed US Navy Haze Gray and Underway Shirt FREE OF CHARGE. American designed and printed!  Not Ship’s Company? Squadron, Carrier Air Wing, PHIBGRU, DESRON, etc? No problem just add your remarks when you place your order.

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