USS Muscatine (AK-197)

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United States
Name: Muscatine
Namesake: Muscatine County, Iowa
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2151[1]
Builder: Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin
Yard number: 118[1]
Laid down: 21 December 1943
Launched: 16 June 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. William Kennedy
Acquired: 3 April 1945
Commissioned: 19 April 1945
Decommissioned: 7 March 1946
Struck: 20 March 1946
Fate: returned to the Maritime Commission, 12 March 1946
Status: sold, 24 February 1947
Name: Palma
Operator: J. Ludwig Moinckels Rederi
Acquired: 24 February 1947
Status: scrapped 1973
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Alamosa-class cargo ship
Type: C1-M-AV1
Tonnage: 5,032 long tons deadweight (DWT)[1]
  • 2,382 long tons (2,420 t) (standard)
  • 7,450 long tons (7,570 t) (full load)
Length: 388 ft 8 in (118.47 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 1 × propeller
Speed: 11.5 kn (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
  • 3,945 t (3,883 long tons) DWT
  • 9,830 cu ft (278 m3) (refrigerated)
  • 227,730 cu ft (6,449 m3) (non-refrigerated)
  • 15 Officers
  • 70 Enlisted

USS Muscatine (AK-197) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that was constructed for the US Navy under a US Maritime Commission contract during the closing period of World War II. She had a brief and successful career before being decommissioned a year later.


Muscatine was laid down under US Maritime Commission contract, MC 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; 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, Lieutenant W. F. Heyer in command.[3]

Service history[edit]

World War II-related service[edit]

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.[3]

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 US 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.[3]

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.[3]

She completed her occupation service 7 December and sailed for the United States. Steaming via the Marianas and the Panama Canal, she arrived Norfolk, Virginia, 6 February 1946.[3]

Post-war decommissioning[edit]

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.[3]

Merchant service[edit]

Muscatine was acquired by J. Ludwig Moinckels Rederi of Norway, on 25 February 1947, for $693,862 and renamed Palma. She was scrapped in 1973.[4]

Honors and awards[edit]

Qualified Muscatine personnel were eligible for the following:[2]




Online resources

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Muscatine (AK-197) at NavSource Naval History