Kiowa, a 2039 gross ton (4500 tons displacement) cargo ship, was built at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917 as one of the first of what became a large group of standard type cargo ships constructed on the Great Lakes during World War I. Her design, including her unusual rig, was based on a Norwegian design known as the "Fredrickstad". This small freighter was taken over by the Navy at New York on 13 February 1918 and commissioned on 26 February 1918 as USS Kiowa (ID # 1842). After carrying a load of coal from Norfolk to Boston she sailed from Hampton Roads at the end of April with a full load of mines and related material, which she delivered to several ports in Scotland in late May for use in the North Sea. The ship made two more similar trips in July and September 1918. In November 1918 she carried a load of coal from Norfolk to Charleston, South Carolina, and in December she took coal from Norfolk to Bermuda. USS Kiowa was decommissioned at Norfolk on 16 January 1919 and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board. The ship then commenced a long commercial career, sailing under the names Valka, Kurzeme (Latvian), and Elizebete, finally being scrapped in England in 1960.
This page features all available views concerning the American freighter Kiowa of 1917 and USS Kiowa (ID # 1842).
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 105220
S.S. Kiowa (American Freighter, 1917)
In port, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District circa 1917. This Great Lakes-built freighter was in commission as USS Kiowa (ID # 1842) from 26 February 1918 to 16 January 1919.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 60KB; 740 x 405 pixels
Page made 14 August 2007