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Civilian Identification Numbered Photo Archive

Kentuckian (ID 1544)

Navy call sign:
George - Fox - Mike - King

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Boy - Mike - Vice

Kentuckian served both the U. S. Army and Navy


  • Built in 1910 by Maryland Steel Co., Sparrows Point, MD
  • Launched 19 March 1910
  • Chartered by the Army in early 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 16 December 1918
  • Commissioned 28 January 1919
  • Decommissioned 15 September 1919, struck from the Navy list and returned to her owner, the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company of New York
  • Scuttled in June 1944 as a block ship at Normandy, France.


  • Displacement 6582 t.
  • Length 414' 6"
  • Beam 53' 8"
  • Draft 28' 1"
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 40 (civilian)
  • Armament: One 5"/51 mount
  • Propulsion: One 2,000ihp quadruple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Kentuckian
    Kentuckian 281k Kentuckian, under tow, is shown in Culebra Cut transiting the Panama Canal
    Library of Congress photo LC-D4-73302 by the Detroit Publishing Company
    Robert Hurst
    Kentuckian 77k In port, circa 1917-1918
    Courtesy of Don S. Montgomery, USN (Retired)
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99512
    Naval Historical Center
    Kentuckian 106k Navy Armed Guard gun crew poses by the ship's 5"/51 gun, circa 1917-1918. Note inscription on the gun's sight bar: "for SS Kentuckian"
    Courtesy of Don S. Montgomery, USN, (Retired)
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 99513
    Robert Hurst
    Kentuckian 107k In port, possibly when she was inspected by the Third Naval District in the New York City area, circa late 1918.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 99501
    USS Kentuckian (ID 1544)
    Kentuckian 101k Returning to the United States with troops from France, 1919
    Courtesy of the Caraway Company, Rutherford, NJ, 1936
    U.S. Navy photo NH 52043
    Naval Historical Center
    Kentuckian 116k Arriving in U.S. waters, while transporting troops home from Europe in 1919. The original image is printed on a post card sent by a serviceman to his mother, Mrs. Martha M. Johns of Sheridan, Indiana. It is postmarked Norfolk, Virginia, 6 September 1919
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104119
    Robert Hurst
    Kentuckian 123k Arriving in U.S. waters, while transporting troops home from Europe in 1919.
    Photographed by Enrique Muller, Jr., New York.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104153
    USS Kentuckian Crew Photo(s)
    Kentuckian 296k Panoramic photo (split into sections) of Officers and crew of the Kentuckian. The man with the " / " on his white hat in the fifth photo is believed to be William Pete Skov, born 26 February 1900 in Texas
    Photo by Hughes and Estabrook, 251 W. 42nd Street, New York, NY
    Ellen O'Toole
    Kentuckian 407k
    Kentuckian 404k
    Kentuckian 400k
    Kentuckian 417k
    Kentuckian 268k

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Carrol E. Higgins, NAR23 January 1919
    02LCDR Harold E. Higgins, USNRF1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: 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.

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