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Ships of Arkansas

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CSS Arkansas was a Confederate Ironclad warship which served during the American Civil War in the Western Theater. Arkansas ran through a U.S. Navy fleet at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on 15 July 1862, in a celebrated action in which she inflicted more damage than she received. She was later destroyed by her crew to prevent capture by Union forces.


  • USS Arkansas (1863), a screw steamer originally named the Tonawanda that served in the American Civil War. After that war she was renamed Tonowanda and lost off Key Largo in 1866.
  • USS Arkansas (BM-7), an Arkansas-class monitor with a single gun turret. She one of the last monitors of the U.S. Navy, commissoned in 1902, but having her name changed to the USS Ozark in 1906. Scrapped in 1922.
  • USS Arkansas (BB-33), one of two Wyoming-class battleships, commissioned in 1912. One of the oldest ships of World War II, and expended and wrecked in an atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll in July 1946. That is where her wreckage still lies. She served in both World Wars.
  • USS Arkansas (CGN-41), one of four Virginia-class nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers, commissioned in 1980 and decommissioned in 1998.
  • USS Arkansas (SSN-800), a future Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, announced in June 2016.


USS Fort Hindman (1862) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was placed in service and used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

USS Fort Hindman

The side wheel steamer, was purchased 14 March 1863 as James Thompson; she was converted into a river gunboat by the addition of timber bulwarks and thin iron plate: a style of warship commonly referred to as a "tinclad". She joined the Mississippi Squadron in April 1863, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. in command; was renamed Manitou 23 March 1863; and renamed Fort Hindman 8 November 1863. The USS Fort Hindman was designed to patrol in shallow waters and small tributaries where heavier ironclads could not enter. Her light armor was only intended to stop small arms fire.

SS Homer

The SS Homer was a sidewheel paddle steamer which plied the waters of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Built in 1859 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, she was 148 feet (45 m) long, 28 feet (8.5 m) wide, and 5 feet (1.5 m) deep. Her first significant service was in 1860, when she was used as a packet steamer on the Red and Ouachita Rivers, under master and co-owner Samuel Applegate. In 1861, after the start of the American Civil War, she was contracted to the government of the Confederate States of America, and was used to transport men and war materiel. She was used to supply the defenders of Port Hudson, Louisiana, in 1864. That year she was captured by the Union Army forces of General Frederick Steele when she was about 30 miles (48 km) below Camden, Arkansas on the Ouachita River. Steele was at the time engaged in a major expedition whose goal was to reach Shreveport, Louisiana, but had stalled due to Confederate resistance and a lack of supplies. Steele had then occupied Camden, and it was during this occupation that the ship was taken, loaded with grain and other supplies. The Union forces piloted her back to Camden.

After having an attempted resupply operation thwarted by the Battle of Mark's Mills, Steele decided to abandon Camden. On April 26, 1864, Union troops left the city, abandoning or destroying equipment and supplies his draft teams were unable to haul, and scuttling all of the ships they held, including the Homer. Returning Confederate troops, observing that her cabin remained above water, were able to recover planking from the ship to fashion rafts to facilitate their crossing of the river in pursuit of Steele.

The Homer's wreck site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. It was, at the time of its listing, the only known steamer wreck on the Ouachita, and one of a small number such wrecks in Arkansas. It had at that time been subjected only to minimal archaeological study.

USS Razorback (SS 394)

File Photo (Aug. 17, 1964) – USS Razorback (SS 394) returns to the United States after 34 years of service in the Turkish Navy. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class J.B. Paul (RELEASED)

USS Razorback (SS-394), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named after the razorback whale (Balaenoptera physalus) found in the far southern reaches of the Pacific Ocean. It is arguably the longest-serving submarine still existing in the world, having been commissioned by two different countries for 57 years of active duty. In 2004, the state of Arkansas adopted the submarine, although it was not named after the University of Arkansas mascot, both the whale and the sub were called "The Greyhound of the Sea."

The submarine saw action during WWII and Vietnam earning numerous awards. In WWII she was at Pearl Harbor to Luzon, to Palau landings, to Midway. In the Luzon Straits, Razorback damaged 6933 ton freighter Kenjo Maru on 6 December and sank the old 820 ton destroyer Kuretake and damaged another freighter on 30 December.

She was was sold to Turkey and recommissioned as TCG Muratreis (S-336) on 17 December 1971, named after the great Ottoman admiral Murat Reis and served Turkey for 31 years, decommissioning on 8 August 2001. The Ex-Muratreis was purchased from Turkey by the city of North Little Rock, Arkansas on 25 March 2004 for US$37,500. The purchase price and all towing costs were paid for by private donations.

On 29 August 2004, Razorback reached her berth in North Little Rock, at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. She officially opened to the public on 15 May 2005 and continues to serve as the meeting place the Quapaw Area Council Sea Scout ship number 394. Sea Scout Ship 394, as part of the Venturing program, have a particular emphasis on water-based activities.

USS Cleburne (APA-73)

USS Cleburne (APA-73)

USS Cleburne (APA-73) was a Gilliam-class attack transport that served with the US Navy during World War II. Cleburne was named after General Patrick Cleburne, CSA. namesake of Cleburne County, acquired by the Navy 21 December 1944; and commissioned the next day, Lieutenant Commander F. T. Callaghan in command. Decommissioned 7 June 1946, used at Bikini Atoll, sold for scrap in June 1965.

USS Crittenden (APA-77)

USS Crittenden was a Gilliam-class attack transport that served with the US Navy during World War II. Commissioned late in the war, she was initially assigned to transport duties and consequently did not participate in combat operations. Named for Crittenden Counties of Arkansas and Kentucky.

USS Crittenden - foreground

Crittenden put out from San Pedro 16 February 1946 to join JTF-1 for Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. She was taken to Kwajalein 27 August 1946 and decommissioned the next day. She suffered radiation and shock wave damage from the test. After study, she was towed back to San Francisco on 1 January 1947 and sunk in an explosives test off the Farallone Islands on 6 October 1947. Thus she provided for fisheries habitat.

USS Baxter (APA-94)

USS Baxter (APA-94)

Sumter-class attack transport that served with the US Navy during World War II, named for Baxter County and Gov. Elisha Baxter, built in 1942 and served on a reduced commission, returned to full commission May 15, 1944, earned four battle stars, decommissioned March 22, 1946, and was sold to the Waterman Steamship Corporation. Renamed the La Salle, the ship was eventually scrapped in 1968.

SS Ouachita Victory

The SS Ouachita Victory was a Victory ship launched on May 8, 1945, from Wilmington, California and named for Ouachita College (now Ouachita Baptist University). The title of SS stands for “steam ship” and should not be confused with USS, which signifies it as a “United States Ship.” Although it was used during World War II, the Ouachita was not associated with the United States Navy.

The Ouachita was one of 534 ships built during World War II and the post-war period. Of these 534 vessels, 150 were named after colleges or universities, and the SS Ouachita Victory was the twenty-fourth Victory ship named after an educational institution and the only American ship named after an Arkansas educational institution. A former student of Ouachita sent a letter requesting that a Victory ship be named for the college, and with the support of Congressman Oren Harris and the Arkadelphia Lions Club, the ship was named.

USS Little Rock

USS Little Rock CL92.
  • USS Little Rock (CL-92), a Cleveland-class cruiser launched in 1945, converted to a Galveston-class cruiser in the late 1950s, and serving in that capacity as CLG-4 and CG-4 until decommissioning on 22 November 1976. It is currently part of the museum at Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

  • USS Little Rock (LCS-9), to be commissioned 16 Dec 2017USS Little Rock (LCS-9) is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. It is the second ship named after Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas. The ship's estimated construction cost will be between $300 million and $350 million[9] and is said to have many new features. The keel laying ceremony for Little Rock was on 27 June 2013. The mast stepping ceremony took place on 23 April 2015, followed by the christening ceremony on 18 July 2015.

On 25 August 2017, LCS-9, the future USS Little Rock, the fifth Freedom-variant LCS built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine, completed acceptance trials on Lake Michigan with the highest score of any Freedom-variant LCS to date, earning the right to fly brooms atop its mast signifying a clean sweep of the ship's sea trials. The ship was delivered to the United States Navy on 25 September 2017. Current plans are for the ship to be commissioned alongside the original USS Little Rock (CLG-4), in Buffalo, New York on 16 December 2017.

USS Little Rock (LCS-9) Side Launch

USS Queen City
USS Chicot (AK-170)
USS Cossatot (AO-77)
USS Craighead (AK-175)
USS Poinsett (AK-205)
USS Sebastian (AK-211)

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