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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-57 USS SOUTH DAKOTA
July 1937 - July 1942
Construction - Shakedown

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Bravo - Charlie

To Additional Pages

August - October 1942 / Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
November 1942 / Guadalcanal & Fourth Battle of Savo Island
December 1942 - July 1943 / War in the Atlantic
August 1943 /Second Refit & Return to the Pacific
September 1943 - August 1944 / War in the Pacific - Refit at Puget Sound
September 1944 - September 1945 / Victory in the Pacific
Post WW II - Scrapping


South Dakota Class Battleship: Displacement 35,000 Tons, Dimensions, 680' 4" (oa) x 108' 2" x 36' 2" (Max). Armament 9 x 16"/45 16 x 5"/38AA, 12 x 1.1" 12 x 0.5", 3 AC. Armor, 12 1/4" Belt, 18" Turrets, 1 1/2" +6" +1/3" Decks, 15" Conning Tower. Machinery, 130,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 27 Knots, Crew 1793.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York, Shipbuilding, Camden NJ., July 5 1939. Launched June 7 1941. Commissioned March 20 1942. Decommissioned January 31 1947. Stricken June 1 1962.
Fate: Sold, October 25 1962 and broken up for scrap.
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BB-57 South Dakota 41k Sketch designs for the South Dakota (BB-57), as presented to the General Board in August 1937. The insert shows the division, as opposed to fleet, flagship version. At this stage the fleet flagship had a two-level conning tower, flag facilities being accomadated in the after half of the navigational level. Note the centerline 5-inch guns. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-61 Iowa70kThe Iowa class (BB-61 / 66) preliminary design model shows the kinship between this class and the South Dakotas. Note the hull slot, which was fared over when the ships were built. The model also shows the usual prewar compliment of 12-foot navigational range finders (including one atop No.3 turret) and range clocks (the forward one is just visible under the platform atop the forward fire control tower). Note, too, the usual pair of boat cranes. They were never fitted, and the planned boat stowage was replaced by three quadruple 40mm mounts on each side, on high platforms. When the New Jersey (BB-62) was being refitted in 1982, workmen found the original boat skids under these platforms. The object atop the conning towers is a spotting glass, which actually was installed aboard the South Dakotas but not aboard these ships. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-57 South Dakota 76k Hull test model for the South Dakota class (BB-57 - 60) battleships. Hull model number 3536, photographed at the Experimental Model Basin, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., in 1938. Note the widely spaced skegs, supporting the outboard propeller shafts, that were a unique feature of this battleship class. Copied from the Bureau of Ships monograph "United States Battleship Designs for World War II", dated 1 June 1946. USNHC # NH 93908, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-57 South Dakota 57k The keel laying of the South Dakota (BB-57) on 5 July 1939. Photo-Courtesy Mrs. Anne Magierski via New York Shipbuilding Company Historical Site.
BB-57 South Dakota 26k The South Dakota (BB-57) was a new class of battleship, and was frequently referred to as "Battleship X" so as not to reveal her identity to the Japanese. New York Shipbuilding took pride in their work, with a sign over the yard entrance, which read, "The Birthplace of "Battleship X". Photo-50 Years: New York Shipbuilding Corporation via New York Shipbuilding Company Historical Site.
BB-57 South Dakota 151k South Dakota (BB-57), as seen in late 1939. The double bottom is being plated over and a portion of the holding bulkhead up to the triple bottom is in place. Framing for the outboard wing tank is being worked aft and the bulkheads for the forward auxiliary machinery are being erected. USN photo courtesy of Mike Green from "Iowa Class Battleships-Their Design, Weapons & Equipment" by Robert Sumrall.
BB-57 South Dakota 106k Construction progresses of South Dakota (BB-57) on 1 April 1940 looking aft. Visible are foundations for turret 1, barbette for turret 2, auxiliary machinery room, and four combination fire-engine rooms. Wing tank torpedo defense system is clearly shown. USN photo courtesy of Mike Green from "Leeward Publications/SHIP'S DATA 2, Alabama (BB-60)".
BB-57 South Dakota 189k Under construction at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard, Camden, New Jersey, 1 April 1940. This view, taken looking forward from Frame # 115, shows the ship's interior amidships, including six major watertight transverse bulkheads and anti-torpedo longitudinal bulkheads along the sides. Note the inward slope of the side bulkheads, corresponding to the slope of the battleship's side armor. Photograph USNHC # 19-N-28532 from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
BB-57 South Dakota 41k Christening ceremonies of South Dakota (BB-57) on 7 June 1941 at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, N.J. Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 819k Lots of South Dakota (BB-57) on the move. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by David Buell.
Photo added 03/07/14.
BB-57 South Dakota 107k A forward looking ship enters the waters in the opposite direction; 7 June 1941, South Dakota (BB-57) touches the waters. U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-8804, submitted by Pieter Bakels.
SODAX2.50k Main battery U.S. Navy photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 590k Forward turrets of the South Dakota (BB-57) under construction on 1 January 1942. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 722k After turret of South Dakota (BB-57) under construction on 1 January 1942. Main deck looking aft from frame # 115. Note the 16" shells on deck and the captions labeled on the ammo boxes "The Year Around If You Feel Safe You Feel Good". USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 465k Superstructure looking aft from frame 65, 1 January 1942. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 411k View of the main superstructure, stack and secondary armament, 1 January 1942. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 2.9m South Dakota (BB-57) is leaving Philadelphia on 4 June 1942 for her shakedown training to 26 July. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 964k South Dakota (BB-57)Port Quarter View, Phila. Navy Yard 4 June 1942. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 952k Summer of 1942. She is still armed with her designed A.A. armament and was the only of the class that carried this armament. Also unique to the South Dakota (BB-57) is the fact that she only mounted eight twin 5"/38 mounts, four to a side. The rest of the class were armed with the standard ten twin mounts. The South Dakota was designed as a fleet flagship from the outset, so she sacrificed two 5" mounts for flag officer space. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-466247, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-57 South Dakota 250k An aerial oblique view of the South Dakota (BB-57), taken on 22 July 1942 during her shakedown. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 842k Bow on view of the South Dakota (BB-57), taken on 22 July 1942 during her shakedown. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Photo added 09/23/10.
BB-57 South Dakota 563k Underway in the Atlantic during her shakedown period, 22 July 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-466248 courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Photo added 09/06/10.
BB-57 South Dakota 519k Port beam view while underway in the Atlantic, probably during her shakedown period, July 1942. USN photo BuAer #19079 courtesy of David Buell.
BB-57 South Dakota 219k Gun crew with 1.1-Inch, 75-Cal. 'on station' aboard the South Dakota (BB-57), during her shakedown. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 200k Firing the 1.1-Inch, 75-Cal.gun aboard the South Dakota (BB-57), during her shakedown. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.

SOUTH DAKOTA BB-57 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Cathy Verschelden
E-mail: ussdakota@aol.com


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
U.S.S. SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57)WAR DAMAGE REPORT By Tracy White @ at the Researcher @ Large Website

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