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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Keokuk (AKN 4)

AKN-4 call sign:
Nan - William - Able - William


CMc-6 call sign:
Nan - Uncle - Fox - Uncle

Keokuk Class Minelayer:

  • The second Keokuk was laid down in 1914 as the SS Henry M. Flagler by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA
  • Renamed Columbia Heights in 1940
  • Acquired by the Navy 28 July 1941 for conversion to a Coastal Minelayer, CMc-6
  • Reclassified as a Net Layer, AN-5 and renamed Keokuk 15 August 1941
  • Commissioned USS Keokuk (AN-5), 28 February 1942
  • Reclassified as a Minelayer, CM-8, 18 May 1942
  • Reclassified as a Net Cargo Ship, AKN-4 in November 1943
  • Decommissioned 5 December 1945 at San Francisco, CA
  • Laid up 30 June 1946 at San Francisco
  • Transferred to the War Shipping Administration for disposal 1 July 1946
  • Sold 7 March 1947 to the West India Fruit and Steam Ship Co. of Florida and renamed Henry M. Flagler
  • Removed from the Reserve Fleet 10 March 1947 and turned over to her new owners
  • Acquired by the Sea Highway Co. in 1961 and renamed Flagler Odeca
  • Acquired by the Odeca Terminal Co. in 1964 and renamed Henry M. Flagler
  • Renamed Freight Transporter later that year
  • Foundered in a gale under tow 16 December 1971 off the Northeast coast of the Azores en route to a scrap yard in Spain.


  • Displacement 6,150 t.
  • Length 353'
  • Beam 57'
  • Draft 17'
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 278
  • Armament: Three 3"/50 dual purpose mounts, two twin 40mm mounts, four .50 cal. machine guns and two .30 cal. machine guns
  • Propulsion: Four Scotch single ended cylindrical boilers, two 2,700shp Cramp vertical triple expansion engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Henry M. Flagler
    Keokuk 349k Launching photo from the 27 September 1914 edition of the Bismarck Daily Tribune, Bismarck, ND at the Library of Congress Michael Mohl
    Keokuk 137k Tommy Trampp
    Keokuk 216k The railroad car ferry S.S. Henry M. Flagler, at the pier at Trumbo Point, in the 1920's. Florida East Coast Railway, Key West Extension
    Photo from the Monroe County Library Collection from the Florida Keys Public Libraries
    Robert Hurst
    Keokuk 206k 13 February 1935
    The railroad car ferry S.S. Henry M. Flagler, at the dock in Key West. Florida East Coast Railway, Key West Extension
    Photo by G. W. Romer of Miami
    Photo from Florida Keys Public Libraries
    USS Keokuk (CM 8)
    Keokuk 53k Keokuk (17671848) was a chief of the Sauk or Sac tribe in central North America noted for his cooperation with the U.S. government which led to war with Black Hawk, who led part of their band into the Black Hawk War. Keokuk County, Iowa and the town of Keokuk, Iowa, where he is buried, are named for him Tommy Trampp
    Keokuk 78k c. 1941/1942 John C. Dommerman
    Keokuk 102k Near the Norfolk Navy Yard on 1 November 1942. This ship was reclassified from a net layer (AN-5) to a minelayer (CM-8) in May 1942 but probably underwent no modifications at that time as she had been initially configured for laying both mines and nets
    National Archives photo 19-N-36498 from the Shipscribe website
    Robert Hurst
    Keokuk 131k Near the Norfolk Navy Yard on 1 November 1942. This stern view shows her mine rails and the short kingpost with its boom between them. The mine rails were portable and could be removed and stowed on board the ship when she was handling nets
    National Archives photo 19-N-36500 from the Shipscribe website
    USS Keokuk (AKN 4)
    Keokuk 139k At San Francisco, California, on 27 November 1944. Her minimal conversion to a net cargo ship (AKN) in late 1943 appears to have included the enlargement of the two openings in the stern, and the lengthening of the stern kingpost and its boom
    National Archives photo 19-N-81342 from the Shipscribe website
    Original photo: Hyperwar U.S. Navy in WWII
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Keokuk 76k 27 November 1944 Robert Hurst
    Keokuk 138k At San Francisco, California, on 27 November 1944
    National Archives photo 19-N-81345 from the Shipscribe website
    SS Freight Transporter
    Keokuk 157k 12 July 1967
    Sitting off Miami Beach after hijack attempt by Cuban nationals
    United Press International Telephoto
    Tommy Trampp

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Leo Brennan, USNR28 February 1942 - 30 April 1944
    02LCDR John Lewis McLean, USNR30 April 1944 - 10 July 1944
    03CDR Robert Paul Lewis, USN10 July 1944 - 1 October 1945
    04LCDR Homer Sidney Porteus, USNR1 October 1945 - 5 December 1945
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Keokuk (CM 8)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Naval Minewarfare Association
    Association of Minemen
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Coastal Minelayer (CMc) Photo Index Back to the Minelayer (CM) Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back To The Net Layer (AN) Photo Index Back To The Net Cargo Ship (AKN) Photo Index

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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo & maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & Michael Mohl
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