Date Original



This collection contains materials related to the USS Arkansas. It includes correspondence, photographs, various publications, and two cruise books originally donated to the Arkansas Governor's Mansion by Edward Smallfoot, as well as the envelope with the original record form of the donation.

Biographical/Historical Note

The USS Arkansas was a battleship built by the United States Navy and was the third Navy ship to bear the state's name. It served in both World Wars. The ship was launched on January 14, 1911 and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on September 17, 1912. It entered World War I in 1917 performing patrol duties along the East coast and in July joining the Sixth Battle Fleet of the British Grand Fleet, based in Roslyth, Scotland. Following the war, the Arkansas performed escort duties for President Wilson's visit to Brest, France. It was assigned to the U.S. Pacific fleet in July of 1919. Until the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Arkansas served primarily as a training ship. It performed convoy escort duties at the beginning of the war. During the June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, the Arkansas was 4,000 yards off shore, fighting German shore batteries and attacks by aircraft. It participated in several more battles before the war's end, including battles at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. By 1945, it was the oldest battleship in active combat duty in the U.S. Navy. The Arkansas was selected for atomic naval tests at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands because of its age. It survived the airborne atomic explosion of "Test Able" on July 1, 1946, but sank on July 25, 1946 during the second "Baker" test, a submerged detonation from ninety feet below the water surface. The Arkansas now rests in the Bikini Atoll lagoon.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



USS Arkansas collection, MS.001016


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

USS Arkansas collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History