Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Caption: USS Kentuckian, a transport of World War I.

(SP-1544: dp. 6,582; l. 414'6"; b. 53'8")

A former name retained.

Kentuckian was built in 1910 by Maryland Steel Co., Sparrows Point, Md.; acquired by the Navy 16 December 1918; and commissioned 28 January 1919, Lt. Comdr. Carrol E. Higgins, NAR, in command.

Kentuckian was assigned to transport duty as thousands of American World War I veterans were awaiting return to the United States. She cleared New York on her first cruise 2 March 1919, picked up nearly 2,000 troops at St. Nazaire, France, and returned New York 1 April. The transport made a total of five cruises from New York to France, unloading general cargo at France and returning with troops. Kentuckian arrived Norfolk 31 August from her final cruise, decommissioned 15 September 1919, and returned to her owners the same day.

During World War II, Kentuckian operated with a naval armed guard on convoy runs between the East Coast and the Mediterranean. She won a battle star for her service in convoy HX-233 during April 1943. She was subsequently scuttled as a blockship at the Normandy beachhead.

Published: Tue Jul 28 10:59:24 EDT 2015