Kankakee, 1919

Feb. 3, 2021

Kankakee, 1919

A river rising in northern Indiana and flowing 362 km (225 mi) southwest to join the Des Plaines River and form the Illinois River in northeast Illinois.

Builder: Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, Dubuque, Iowa

Length: 182'

Beam: 34'

Draft: 3' 6"

Displacement: 383 tons

Cost: N/A


Commissioned: 19 October 1919

Decommissioned: 15 June 1925

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 2 tandem compound steam engines, stern paddle-wheel


          Maximum Speed: 
          Economic/Cruising Speed: 

Complement: 35

Electronics: None

Armament: None (small arms?)

Cutter History:

The Kankakee was one of two Kankakee-class stern paddle wheelers built for the Coast Guard, the other being Yocona.  In 1916 an act of Congress authorized the construction of river steamers for flood relief and rescue work, among other tasks, on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  The act was passed in direct response to the horrible floods of 1913.  The 182-foot shallow draft, steel-hulled riverboats were both built by the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works in Dubuque, Iowa.  They were propelled by rear paddle-wheels for better river navigation and the ability to reach narrow or shallow river areas.  They were equipped with searchlights, powerful pumps, and radio equipment and were designed to be the "mother ships" for fast 26-foot "sea sleds" (CG Nos. MB-1435 & MB-1436) and river punts that were used to transport the displaced disaster victims to the river boat's spacious cabins.  Both were commissioned on 19 October 1919.

She alternated home ports between Evansville, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.  She transferred to the Lakes division on 1 December 1932 and was sold in 1936.


Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).