27° 11.332' N
80° 01.431' W
July 24, 1988
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING
Launched: December 22, 1944, from Wilmington, North Carolina yard of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, as a Tolland Class attack cargo ship U.S.S. Rankin (AKA-103)
April 1945: Rankin joined the Pacific Fleet
June 1945: Participated in the Okinawa invasion
Later, while in Seattle, Washington undergoing repairs, Japan offered their unconditional surrender, which ended Rankin’s war time service.
Reactivated and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, assisted with amphibious assault training operations
1958: Participated in landing of US Marines at Beirut
1969: U.S.S. Rankin was reclassified as an amphibious cargo ship (LKA‐ 103).
May 11, 1971: Decommissioned and transferred to the US Maritime Administration.
U.S.S. Rankin (AKA-103) (1944)
U.S.S. Rankin (LKA-103) (1969)
On July 24, 1988, the U.S.S. Rankin was sunk as an artificial reef approximately seven miles east of St. Lucie Inlet and 13 nautical miles south of the similar U.S.S. Muliphen. The wreck initially came to rest on her starboard, with her portside rising to within 70 feet of the surface. In 2004, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne significantly impacted the former attack cargo vessel, breaking the vessel in half and devastating the forward section of the wreck; the stern section remains largely intact and unaffected. While Mother Nature’s hand significantly compromised the integrity of the Rankin, the modifications have apparently appealed to many fish species. Due to her closer proximity to shore, visibility on the USS. Rankin is generally lower than on the USS. Muliphen, which is sited in deeper offshore waters.