USS Muscatine (AK-197)
|Namesake:||A city and county in Iowa named for a Native American word meaning dweller in the prairie|
|Ordered:||as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2151|
|Builder:||Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin|
|Laid down:||21 December 1943|
|Launched:||16 June 1944|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. William Kennedy|
|Acquired:||by the U.S. Navy 3 April 1945|
|Commissioned:||19 April 1945 as USS Muscatine (AK-197) Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Texas|
|Decommissioned:||7 March 1946, at Baltimore, Maryland|
|Refit:||at Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc., Beaumont, Texas|
|Struck:||20 March 1946|
|World War II Victory Medal|
|Fate:||returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission, 12 March 1946; fate not known|
|Type:||Alamosa-class cargo ship|
|Tons burthen:||7,435 tons|
|Propulsion:||Diesel, single screw, 1,700shp|
|Complement:||85 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount; six 20mm guns|
USS Muscatine (AK-197) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that was constructed for the U.S. Navy during the closing period of World War II. She had a brief and successful career before being decommissioned a year later.
Built in Superior, Wisconsin
Muscatine (AK 197) was laid down under U.S. Maritime Commission contract as M. C. Hull 2151 by Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin, 21 December 1943; named Muscatine and classified AK-197 on 25 February 1944; launched 16 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William Kennedy.
She was floated down the Mississippi River in November 1944 for completion at Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc., Beaumont, Texas; acquired by the Navy on loan charter from the Maritime Commission 3 April 1945; placed in service from 3 April to 4 April during transfer to Houston, Texas, for fitting out at Brown Shipbuilding Co.; and commissioned at Houston 19 April 1945, Lt. W. F. Heyer in command.
After shakedown along the Texas coast, Muscatine loaded a full cargo of “beer, Coca Cola syrup, and a bottling unit” at Gulfport, Mississippi, before sailing 17 May for the central Pacific Ocean. She touched at Eniwetok, in the Marshall Islands, 26 June, thence from 2 to 7 July steamed to Guam where she discharged her cargo.
Assigned to Service Squadron 8, she departed the Marianas 13 July and spent much of the final month of the Pacific war sailing to the U.S. West Coast where she arrived San Francisco, California, 2 August. After loading refrigerated and “miscellaneous amphibious fleet issue” cargo, she sailed for the western Pacific the 18th.
Muscatine off loaded refrigerated stores at Ulithi, in the Caroline Islands, between 8 and 11 September; thence, from 15 September to 23 October she served as a stores ship in Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands. On 30 October she reached Sasebo, Japan, where she began duty as a cargo issue ship to support the occupation of the defeated Japanese Empire.
She steamed to Baltimore, Maryland, 23 to 24 February and decommissioned there 7 March 1946. She was returned to War Shipping Administration (WSA) 12 March and her name was struck from the Navy list 20 March.
Honors and awards
Qualified Muscatine personnel were eligible for the following:
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia Clasp)
- This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - AK-197 Muscatine