Entries - Entry Type: Thing

USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185)

aka: SS Alcoa Cruiser
aka: USS Rixey (AHP-3)
The USNS Private William H. Thomas was a Tryon-class evacuation transport built in 1941 that was renamed in 1946 for a Wynne (Cross County) native who received a Medal of Honor during World War II. William H. Thomas was born in Wynne on January 13, 1923. He was serving as a Browning Automatic Rifle gunner on Luzon in the Philippine Islands on April 22, 1945, when a Japanese satchel charge blew off both of his legs beneath the knee. Refusing medical attention, Thomas continued fighting until his weapon was disabled and he ran out of grenades. Thomas died of his wounds, and he received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his valor. The Private William H. Thomas originated as the …

USNS Sisler (T-AKR 311)

The USNS Sisler is a Watson-class large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship (LMSR) launched in 1998 and named for George Kenton Sisler, a graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro (Craighead County) who earned a posthumous Medal of Honor for valor during the Vietnam War. Dexter, Missouri, native George Kenton Sisler was born in 1937 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1964 shortly after his graduation from what is now Arkansas State University with an education degree. On February 7, 1967, while operating with a Special Forces unit and South Vietnamese troops deep behind enemy lines, Sisler and his comrades were attacked. Sisler carried wounded comrades into a defensive perimeter and fought off repeated enemy attacks before being mortally wounded while …

USNS Watkins (T-AKR-315)

The USNS Watkins is a Watson-class large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) ship launched in 2000 and named for Travis E. Watkins, an Arkansas native who received a Medal of Honor for heroic actions during the Korean War. Travis E. Watkins was born in Waldo (Columbia County) on September 5, 1920, but moved to Texas with his mother and brothers after his parents divorced. He joined the U.S. Army in 1939 and earned a Bronze Star at Guadalcanal during World War II. Remaining in the army, he had risen to the rank of master sergeant by the time the Korean War began. On August 31, 1950, he and a group of thirty soldiers were cut off from the rest of their regiment …

USS Admiral E. W. Eberle (AP-123)

aka: USNS General Simon B. Buckner
The USS Admiral E. W. Eberle was one of two ships named for Edward Walter Eberle, an admiral who served in the U.S. Navy from 1881 until 1928. Born in Denton, Texas, Eberle grew up in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). The ship saw service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The USS Admiral E. W. Eberle was an Admiral W. S. Benson–class transport ship. Designed to carry large numbers of troops, these ships were also armed with four five-inch guns, eight forty-millimeter guns, and sixteen twenty-millimeter guns. With its keel laid down on February 15, 1943, the ship was constructed by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Alameda, California. Ordered as a Maritime Commission Contract, the …

USS Arkansas (BB-33)

The battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33) was the third ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the state’s name, the prior vessels being a wooden-hulled steamer during the American Civil War, and an 1890s single-turret monitor that was renamed Ozark in 1909 and used as an instruction ship. The battleship Arkansas participated in both world wars and received four battle stars for service in World War II. The Arkansas’s keel was laid on January 25, 1910, in Camden, New Jersey. The USS Arkansas was launched on January 14, 1911, and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on September 17, 1912. Measuring 562 feet by ninety-three feet, the Arkansas was designed for a crew of 1,594. It was armed with twelve twelve-inch …

USS Arkansas (CGN-41)

The USS Arkansas (CGN-41) was the fourth and last ship in the Virginia class of Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Cruisers. The cruiser was also the fourth ship in the U.S. Navy to be named after the state of Arkansas. The keel of the USS Arkansas was laid on January 17, 1977, at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. It was launched on October 21, 1978, and was commissioned on October 18, 1980, with Captain Dennis S. Read in command. The guided-missile cruiser spent the four months following its commissioning in the vicinity of Hampton Roads, Virginia. In March 1981, it completed contract trials and conducted a public relations call at Port Everglades, Florida. Until …

USS Arkansas (Civil War)

Not to be confused with the like-named Confederate ship the CSS Arkansas, the USS Arkansas served the U.S. Navy during the Civil War as a supply and tender vessel, helping to maintain communications and supply with the blockade fleet along the Texas gulf coast. Constructed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1863 as a commercial barkentine-rigged, wooden-hulled, screw steamer originally named Tonawanda, this vessel measured 191 feet in length and thirty feet at the beam. It weighed 752 tons and drafted nineteen feet of water. It carried a crew of eighty-eight enlisted sailors and officers. Propelled by one vertical condensing engine capable of operation at high or low pressure, with a cylinder diameter of forty inches and a thirty-inch stroke, it averaged …

USS Arkansas (M-7)

aka: USS Ozark (BM-7)
The USS Arkansas (M-7), also known as the USS Ozark (BM-7), was one of four monitor-class naval vessels built for the U.S. Navy in the late 1800s. Although designed as surface warships, these vessels were primarily relegated to support operations because they were obsolete by the time they were finished. In 1898, the navy approved designs to introduce four new monitor vessels. These vessels were known as the USS Arkansas (M-7), USS Connecticut (M-8), USS Florida (M-9), and USS Wyoming (M-10). Because the navy designates the first ship of a class series the class name of the ship, M-7 through M-10 were known as Arkansas-class monitors. The USS Arkansas was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company …

USS Baron De Kalb

aka: USS St. Louis
Named for Baron Johann De Kalb, a Bavarian nobleman who served as a major general in the Continental army during the American Revolution, the sternwheel casemate gunboat Baron De Kalb saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the White River during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Built in 1861 in Carondelet, Missouri, by the innovative ship designer James B. Eads under orders from U.S. Army Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs and originally christened the St. Louis, the 175-foot Cairo-class vessel displaced 512 tons and drew six feet of water. Its armaments consisted of two eight-inch smoothbore cannon, four forty-two-pound rifled cannon, and seven thirty-two-pound …

USS Baxter (APA-94)

The USS Baxter was a Sumter-class attack transport ship that saw action during World War II. It is named in honor of Baxter County. The Baxter was the fourth and final ship in the Sumter class to be constructed, with work beginning on March 18, 1943, in Chickasaw, Alabama; the other three ships of the class were constructed in 1942. The ship was launched on September 19, 1943, and was acquired by the U.S. Navy on November 30, receiving a reduced commission. The Baxter sailed to Brooklyn, New York, where it arrived on December 14. Work to convert it to an attack transport began the same day. The ship was fully commissioned on May 15, 1944, under the command of …

USS Benton County (LST-263)

The USS Benton County, originally USS LST-263, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II. It was renamed the USS Benton County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in nine states, including Arkansas. LST-263 was one of a class of vessels created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-263 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet at the stern. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to …

USS Boone County (LST-389)

The USS Boone County, originally LST-389, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II. It was renamed the USS Boone County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in eight states, including Arkansas. LST-389 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-389 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet at the stern. These ships carried pontoons amidships that could be …

USS Bradley County (LST-400)

The USS Bradley County, originally USS LST-400, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II. It was renamed the USS Bradley County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in Arkansas and Tennessee. LST-400 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-400 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet at the stern. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways …

USS Calhoun County (LST-519)

The USS Calhoun County, originally USS LST-519, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II and was later used to dump radioactive material into the Atlantic Ocean. It was renamed the USS Calhoun County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in eleven states, including Arkansas. LST-519 was one of a class of vessels created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-519 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet …

USS Chicot (AK-170)

The USS Chicot was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. The ship was named for Chicot County and was part of the same class as the USS Craighead, USS Poinsett, and USS Sebastian, all named for Arkansas counties. The Chicot was launched on July 16, 1944, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The ship was constructed by Froemming Brothers, Incorporated, and was acquired by the navy on March 13, 1945. It was commissioned as the Chicot on April 4, 1945, and the first captain of the ship was Lieutenant Commander Lawrence Marshall. The Alamosa class consisted of cargo ships designed to deliver troops, equipment, and goods to combat zones. The Chicot …

USS Cincinnati

The sternwheel casemate gunboat Cincinnati saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including the expedition up Steele’s Bayou and operations on the White River during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Built in 1861 in Mound City, Illinois, by the innovative ship designer James B. Eads under orders from U.S. Army Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs, the 175-foot Cairo-class vessel displaced 512 tons and drew six feet of water. Its armaments consisted of six thirty-two-pound and three eight-inch smoothbore cannon, four forty-two-pound rifled cannon, and one twelve-pound howitzer. Under operational control of the army and piloted by permanently assigned civilians, the Cincinnati joined the Western Gunboat Fleet in …

USS Clara Dolsen

The USS Clara Dolsen was a massive sidewheel paddleboat built in 1861 and used by Confederate forces until its capture by the U.S. Navy during the 1862 St. Charles Expedition. The Clara Dolsen was a 939-ton sidewheel paddleboat built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1861 for Captain William T. Dunning, A. P. Stewart, and S. B. Edwards of New Orleans, Louisiana. Its hull was constructed at the Leatherbury yard, and its machinery was manufactured by C. T. G. Dumont. The Clara Dolsen was 273 feet long and forty-two feet wide, and it was powered by five boilers and twenty-eight-inch cylinder engines. Its paddlewheels were thirty-six feet in diameter with fourteen-foot buckets. The ship was acknowledged as “one of the largest, handsomest, …

USS Cleburne (APA-73)

The USS Cleburne was a Gilliam-class attack transport that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. It was named for Cleburne County, Arkansas, and Cleburne County, Alabama, both of which were named in honor of Confederate major general Patrick Cleburne. The Gilliam class was designed to transport troops and materials close to shore during invasions. Small boats carried by the larger ship were used to land troops on shore. The ships of the class were 426 feet long and fifty-eight feet wide. With a top speed of seventeen knots, the ship utilized a crew of twenty-seven officers and 295 enlisted men. The ship could carry forty-seven officers and 802 enlisted men. Armed with a single five-inch dual-purposed mounted …

USS Conestoga

The first of two vessels named Conestoga, this converted sidewheel steamer saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the Arkansas, White, Black, Tensas, and Ouachita rivers during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Originally built in 1859 in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, as a sidewheel steamer displacing between 297 and 572 tons, the Conestoga was purchased by the U.S. Army Quartermaster on June 3, 1861, and converted into a wood-clad gunboat for service with the Western Gunboat Fleet on the Mississippi River and various tributaries. Although under the army’s operational control, the vessel was commanded by Lieutenant S. Ledyard Phelps of the U.S. Navy. Initial duties …

USS Cooper (DD-695)

The USS Cooper was a U.S. Navy destroyer in World War II named for Monticello (Drew County) native Elmer Glenn Cooper. The Cooper sank on December 3, 1944, after being struck by a torpedo during a surface engagement at Ormoc Bay. Elmer Glenn Cooper was born on May 9, 1905, in Monticello, to the farming family of James O. Cooper and Anna B. Cooper. He married Francis Vivian Lewis Sigmon in 1928. Cooper attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduating 476th in a class of 579 in 1927, and was retained for aviation instruction that summer. Cooper became a U.S. Navy pilot and was serving on the aircraft Carrier USS Langley when, during fleet maneuvers off southern California, …

USS Cossatot (AO-77)

aka: USNS Cossatot
The USS Cossatot was a tanker in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Named for the Cossatot River in southwestern Arkansas, the USS Cossatot served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war. The Cossatot, which was a Type 2-SE-A1 tanker, served as a fleet oiler, supplying fuel and other necessities to ships at sea. It was constructed in Chester, Pennsylvania, by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Originally laid down as the Fort Necessity, the ship was launched on February 28, 1943, and then transferred to the navy on March 17, 1943. Commander P. G. Beck served as the first captain of the ship when it was commissioned on April 20, 1943, in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon …

USS Craighead (AK-175)

The USS Craighead was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. The ship was named for Craighead County and was part of the same class as the USS Chicot, USS Poinsett, and USS Sebastian, all named for Arkansas counties. Construction on the ship began in 1944, and it was launched on February 28, 1945. Constructed by Froemming Brothers, Incorporated, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Craighead was acquired by the navy on July 31, 1945. It was commissioned on September 5, 1945, under the command of Lieutenant Commander George Walker, who commanded the ship for its entire service in the navy. The ship was crewed by members of the U.S. Coast …

USS Cricket

The USS Cricket was a sternwheel steamboat built in 1860 and purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1862 for Civil War service in western waters, including extensive activity in Arkansas rivers. Cricket No. 2, as the boat was originally named, was constructed in 1860 at California, Pennsylvania, for R. Hamilton of Hanging Rock, Ohio, and John Kyle of Cincinnati, Ohio. The vessel was 151 feet long and 27.7 feet wide. It ran between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and, during the summer, between Cincinnati and Louisville, Kentucky, under the command of Captain S. B. Hempstead. The Union navy bought the ship on November 18, 1862, at Cairo, Illinois, and converted it to a tinclad gunboat with the addition of one-and-one-quarter-inch …

USS Crittenden (APA-77)

The USS Crittenden (APA-77) was a Gilliam-class attack transport named for counties in Arkansas and Kentucky. The vessel served late in World War II and during the occupation of Japan before being used as a test vessel for atomic bomb tests on the Bikini Atoll. The USS Crittenden was built by the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Wilmington, California, under a contract from the U.S. Maritime Commission. It was launched on November 6, 1944, and christened by Mrs. W. R. Boyd. The Crittenden was transferred to the U.S. Navy on January 16, 1945, and commissioned a day later under command of Commander P. C. Crosley. The USS Crittenden weighed 4,247 tons and was 426 feet long and fifty-eight feet wide, traveling …

USS Drew (APA-162)

The USS Drew (APA-162) was a 6,873-ton Haskell-class attack transport built in 1944 and named for Drew County, Arkansas. The Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in Portland, Oregon, laid down the hull for the USS Drew on June 30, 1944. The vessel was launched on September 14, then commissioned on October 22, 1944, under Commander D. H. Swinson. The ship was 455 feet long and sixty-two feet wide and could reach speeds of seventeen knots. It had a crew of fifty-six officers and 490 sailors and could carry up to eighty-six officers and 1,440 enlisted men. The Drew was armed with one five-inch gun, one quad-40mm antiaircraft mount, four twin 40mm guns, and ten single-mount 20-mm AA guns. The Drew left San …

USS Eberle (DD-430)

The USS Eberle was a Gleaves-class destroyer that saw service in World War II and in the Greek navy. It is one of two ships named after Admiral Edward Eberle, a resident of Fort Smith (Sebastian County), that saw service in World War II. The keel of the ship was laid down by the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on April 12, 1939. Launched on September 14, 1940, it was commissioned on December 4 of the same year. The ship was sponsored by Mildred Eberle, the granddaughter of Admiral Eberle. The first commander of the Eberle was Lieutenant Commander Edward Randolph Jr. The Eberle was armed with four single-mount five-inch guns. (Some members of the Gleaves class had five …

USS Fort Hindman

The USS Fort Hindman was a Union paddle-wheel steamer that operated along rivers in the Trans-Mississippi during the Civil War. Named for the Confederate fort captured at Arkansas Post in January 1863, the Fort Hindman participated in numerous actions during the war. The ship that became known as the Fort Hindman was purchased by the Federal government on March 14, 1863. Known as the James Thompson when it entered service, the ship was renamed the USS Manitou the same month. Lightly armored, the ship also carried a total of six eight-inch guns. In April 1863, the ship joined the Mississippi River Squadron and was commanded by Lieutenant Thomas O. Selfridge, the first graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. In July …

USS Glide

The first of two vessels named Glide, this sternwheel tinclad saw service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the White River against Fort Hindman, during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Built in Shousetown, Pennsylvania, in 1862 and purchased by order of Rear Admiral David D. Porter at Pittsburgh on November 17, 1862, the Glide went down the Ohio River to Cairo, Illinois, to be fitted out as a tinclad. It was commissioned on December 3, 1862, with Acting Lieutenant Selim E. Woodworth in command. The Glide displaced 137 tons and carried six twenty-four-pound howitzers. On January 3, 1863, the Glide began service on the lower …

USS Grant County (LST-1174)

The USS Grant County (LST-1174) was a U.S. Navy tank landing ship constructed in 1956 and named for fifteen U.S. counties, including one in Arkansas. LST-1174 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when they had to debark their cargos from deeper water, but they were capable of dropping their forward ramps directly onto a beach. The Grant County could launch 500 tons of vehicles in a dry landing and 1,500 tons if using the …

USS Hoga (YT-146)

aka: City of Oakland [Boat]
The USS Hoga (YT-146) is a Woban-class District Harbor Tug built in 1940. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989 in recognition of actions during the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It later served as a fireboat, called the City of Oakland, in California before becoming part of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 2015. The keel of the Hoga—named for the Sioux word for fish—was laid down on July 25, 1940, by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation of Morris Heights, New York, and it was launched on December 31, 1940. Designated YT-146 (for Yard Tug), the Hoga was put in service on May …

USS Jack Williams

The USS Jack Williams is an Oliver Hazard Perry–class guided missile frigate built in 1980 and named for a U.S. Navy corpsman from Harrison (Boone County) who was awarded a Medal of Honor for valor during World War II. Jack Williams was born on October 18, 1924, in Harrison. Williams joined the navy after World War II began and was serving as a Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class with the Third Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, Fifth Marine Division during the fight for Iwo Jima. On March 3, 1945, despite being severely wounded, Williams continued to aid wounded marines under intense enemy fire. Williams died of his injuries after saving several men, and he received a posthumous Medal of Honor. The Bath Iron …

USS Jefferson County (LST-845)

The USS Jefferson County, originally LST-845, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the Far East after World War II and during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. It was renamed the USS Jefferson County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in twenty-five states, including Arkansas. LST-845 was one of a class of vessels created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels, though LST-845 could transport cargos from 1,600 to 1,900 tons. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when they had to debark …

USS Johnson County (LST-849)

The USS Johnson County (LST-849) was a tank landing ship constructed in 1944 for the U.S. Navy that saw service in the Pacific during World War II and the occupation of Japan. It was designated the USS Johnson County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in twelve states, including Arkansas. LST-849 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST 849 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could …

USS Lafayette County (LST-859)

The USS Lafayette County (LST-859) was a tank landing ship that saw service in World War II and the Korean War. It was designated the USS Lafayette County on July 1, 1955, in honor of a Louisiana parish and counties in five U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-859 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-859 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when they …

USS Lawrence County (LST-887)

The USS Lawrence County (LST-887) was an LST-542 Class tank landing ship built in 1944 that saw service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It was designated the USS Lawrence County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in eleven U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-887 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-887 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to …

USS Lee County (LST-888)

The USS Lee County (LST-888) was a tank landing ship built in 1944 that saw service in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It was designated the USS Lee County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in five U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-888 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-888 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when they had …

USS Lexington

The USS Lexington was a timberclad city-class gunboat in the U.S. Navy that saw extensive service on the Mississippi River and tributaries within Arkansas during the Civil War. It was the third vessel in the history of the navy to be commissioned with this name. Built as a side-wheel steamer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1861 and purchased by the U.S. Quartermaster Department on June 8 for conversion to a gunboat in Cincinnati, Ohio, the USS Lexington measured 177 feet and seven inches in length and thirty-six feet and ten inches at the beam. It weighed 448 tons and made seven knots with a battery of one twelve-pounder howitzer, four eight-inch guns, and one thirty-two-pounder and two thirty-pounder Parrott rifles. Under Commander …

USS Lincoln County (LST-898)

The USS Lincoln County (LST-898) was an LST-542 Class tank landing ship built in 1944 that saw service in the Pacific Theater of World War II and in the Korean War. It was designated the USS Lincoln County on July 15, 1955, in honor of counties in twenty-four U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-898 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-898 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be …

USS Little Rock (CL-92, CLG-4)

The USS Little Rock (CL-92) was built as a Cleveland-class light cruiser at the end of World War II and later converted into a guided missile cruiser. The Little Rock was in service for more than thirty years until it was donated to the City of Buffalo, New York, where it is now part of the Naval Museum at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. The Little Rock was built by Cramp Shipbuilding of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its keel was laid on March 6, 1943; it was launched on August 27, 1944, and was commissioned as CL-92 on June 17, 1945. The first commanding officer was Captain William E. Miller. Too late to be deployed in the war …

USS Little Rock (LCS-9)

The USS Little Rock is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship. The second ship in the U.S. Navy to be named for Little Rock (Pulaski County), the ship joined the fleet officially in 2017. The Freedom class is designed to operate close to shore in a multipurpose role. The ships measure 378 feet long and over fifty-seven feet wide. Constructed of aluminum and steel, the ships can reach a top speed of forty-seven knots. The ship is manned by a core crew of forty sailors, joined by an aviation crew and mission-specific crewmembers, keeping the total number under 100. The ship is armed with a fifty-seven-millimeter gun, a surface-to-air missile launcher, four .50 caliber machine guns, and two .30 caliber machine …

USS Louisville

The USS Louisville was a Federal ironclad gunboat that saw service on rivers in the Western Theater during the Civil War, including in Arkansas. The Louisville and other ironclads in the Western Theater were constructed to be part of the Union navy’s blockade of the Confederacy. By taking control of the Mississippi River, Federal forces would effectively cut the Trans-Mississippi off from the rest of the Confederacy and help starve both sides economically. To help accomplish this task, an inland naval flotilla was established in the North to join additional Union ships moving up the Mississippi River. The Louisville was a City-class ironclad constructed by James Eads at Carondelet, Missouri. Under contract with the War Department, Eads began construction of …

USS Marion County (LST-975)

The USS Marion County (LST-975) was an LST-511 Class tank landing ship built in 1944 that saw service in World War II and the Korean War. It was designated the USS Marion County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in seventeen U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-975 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-975 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when …

USS Marmora

The USS Marmora was a stern-wheel steamboat that served as a U.S. Navy warship in and around Arkansas during the Civil War. The Marmora was built at the William Latta yard at Monongahela, Pennsylvania, in 1862 for Captain James McDonald, who had it constructed after running another boat of the same name. The 207-ton stern-wheel steamboat was 155 feet long and thirty-three feet and five inches wide, with a four-foot, six-inch draft. The ship’s twin Watson and Monroe boilers sported an innovation, with each having three eleven-inch and three eight-inch flues. Its wheel, which was twenty feet in diameter, worked twenty-four-foot buckets. The U.S. Navy bought the vessel on September 17, 1862, after McDonald had taken it on a handful …

USS Moale (DD-693)

The USS Moale (DD-693) was an Allen M. Sumner–class U.S. Navy destroyer launched in 1944 and named for Edward Moale Jr., a native of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The vessel saw action in World War II and the Korean War during a nearly thirty-year career. Edward Moale Jr., was born in Little Rock on September 10, 1866, one of three sons and a daughter of professional soldier Edward Moale and Jeannie Moale. The family did not stay in Little Rock long, as federal census records show them living at Fort Dodge, Kansas, in 1870. By 1880, they were stationed at Fort Benton, Montana, and it was from that state that the younger Moale was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy …

USS Monarch

The sidewheel steam ram Monarch saw extensive service with Lieutenant Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet’s Ram Fleet as part of the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the White River against Fort Hindman, during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Originally built as a towboat in Fulton, Ohio, in 1853, the Monarch was purchased by the U.S. Army and commissioned at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April 1862. The Monarch joined Ellet’s Ram Fleet in May, with Captain R. W. Sanford in command. The Monarch’s first service consisted of scouting Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River. Afterward, the vessel participated in the Battle of Memphis on June 6, along with the …

USS Monroe County (LST-1038)

The USS Monroe County (LST-1038) was an LST-542 Class tank landing ship built in 1944 that saw service in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It was designated the USS Monroe County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in seventeen U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-1038 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-1038 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when …

USS Montgomery County (LST-1041)

The USS Montgomery County (LST-1041) was an LST-542 Class tank landing ship built in 1944 that saw service in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It was designated the USS Montgomery County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in eighteen U.S. states, including Arkansas. LST-1041 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when carrying a 500-ton load, LST-1041 drew only three feet eleven inches forward and nine feet ten inches aft. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when …

USS Mound City

The USS Mound City was a Union naval vessel that served during the Civil War primarily in and around Arkansas on the Mississippi and White rivers in operations during and after the Vicksburg Campaign. It is most famous for the loss of a majority of its crew as a result of “the deadliest shot of the war.” Built as a Cairo-class ironclad in August 1861 under the supervision of James Buchanan Eads and named for Mound City, Illinois, this vessel was received by the U.S. Navy on December 5, 1861, and placed under Commander Augustus H. Kilty. As a screw-driven, steam-powered sternwheeler, the USS Mound City measured 175 feet in length and fifty-one feet at the beam. It weighed 512 tons, …

USS New Era

The sternwheel steamer New Era saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the White and Mississippi rivers during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. At least three wartime vessels of this name participated in Union naval operations at various times. Consequently, details of its service are somewhat muddled. Built in Wellsville, Ohio, in 1862, the New Era served on the Ohio River until it was purchased for service on the western rivers. The 137-foot vessel displaced 157 tons and drew four to six feet of water. Its armaments included six twenty-four-pound howitzers. Purchased by the U.S. Navy at Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 27, 1862, …

USS Ouachita County (LST-1071)

The USS Ouachita County was a Landing Ship, Tank (LST), operated by the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Known as LST-1071 for most of its career, it was renamed in honor of Ouachita County, Arkansas, on July 1, 1955. The keel of the ship was laid down on February 13, 1945, at Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard in Hingham, Massachusetts. Launched on March 14, 1945, the ship was commissioned on April 9 under the command of Lieutenant W. C. Scott. The Ouachita County was an LST-542 class ship, which was a subset of the LST (2) class. The ships were designed to unload tanks and other heavy equipment by landing directly onshore and using large bow doors as …