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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-57 USS SOUTH DAKOTA
August - October 1942 / Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Bravo - Charlie

To Additional Pages

July 1937 - July 1942 / Construction - Shakedown
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 56k The anti-aircraft battery pumping out shells at the Battle of Santa Cruz, 26 October 1942. USN photo.
BB-57 South Dakota 54k Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. South Dakota (BB-57) firing her anti-aircraft guns at attacking Japanese planes during the action, 26 October 1942. A Japanese Type 97 Shipboard Attack Aircraft ("Kate") is at right, apparently leaving the area after having dropped its torpedo. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # USNHC # 80-G-30054, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-57 South Dakota 90k A painting by the artist Wayne Scarpaci depicting the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. U.S. Navy ships firing at attacking Japanese carrier aircraft during the battle, 26 October 1942. Enterprise (CV-6) is at left, with at least two enemy planes visible overhead. In the right center is South Dakota (BB-57), firing her starboard 5"/38 secondary battery, as marked by the bright flash amidships and at least one Japanese plane falling in flames. Drawing courtesy of artbywayne.com.
BB-57 South Dakota 502k A painting by Navy Combat Artist Dwight Shepler entitled "Air Defence, Battle of Santa Cruz", depicts the South Dakota (BB-57) helping to wither away a determined Japanese dive-and torpedo bomber attack. Submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 86k "Battleship 'X'" - the South Dakota (BB-57) - and a destroyer maneuver at high speed during the Battle of Santa Cruz, 26 October 1942. USN photo courtesy of United States Naval Institute via Joel Shepherd & cv6.org, submitted by Mike Green.
BB-57 South Dakota 3.6m Val divebomber goes down in flames as a near-miss rocks the Enterprise (CV-6).
Note the South Dakota (BB-57) racing along, her AA guns smoking.
South Dakota, radically, unpredictably manoeuvring within 1000 yards of the carrier Enterprise where her powerful defensive armament of 10 newly fitted 40mm quadruple mounts, replacing the unsatisfactory 1.1-inch guns, each automatically following a remote (MK.51) director which had a tachometric aiming sight (Mk.14) and an increased number of 20mm Oerlikon’s, withered away a determined Japanese dive-and torpedo bomber attack, probably saving the carrier, shooting down a few dozen Japanese aircraft.
At one point South Dakota was about 2000 feet away from Enterprise when a Jap plane flew between both ships. That pilot had a lot of guts and knew his trade and, as he was flying by, both ships let loose with their 40-and 20mm guns. South Dakota was hitting the Enterprise and the Enterprise was hitting us, wrote Bestard Efrain.
Donald C.Guelich, QM 3C saw a Japanese torpedo plane coming in on the starboard side, launching its torpedo. It rode through the sea and passed close by the stern. Another 20 feet and the battleship would have lost rudders and propellers.
Wayne Holbrook was a rangefinder operator in Secondary Battery Director #1 for the 5-inch/38 mounts. He wrote: “A Japanese torpedo plane was coming in through a maze of bursts from 20mm, 40mm and 5-inch guns. I could see the pilot and the torpedo strapped under the plane.
The plane just kept coming; the pilot must have been hit.
Finally, the nose of the plane went up in the air and I could see the colored stripes painted on the torpedo. One of the straps let go and it swung like a pendulum and went straight down, harmlessly in the sea, not 2000 yards from the ship”.
The ship received a direct hit from a 500-pound bomb on top of Main Battery Turret # 1. It did not penetrate but deformed two of the three 16-Inch barrels of #2 turret. Flying shrapnel damaged a 40mm quad and hit Captain Gatch standing on the catwalk of the bridge, wrote Donovan D. Graham, assigned to the Deck Division aboard South Dakota.
U.S. Navy Photograph & text submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 811k Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. U.S. Navy ships firing at attacking Japanese carrier aircraft during the battle, 26 October 1942. Enterprise (CV-6) is at left, with at least two enemy planes visible overhead. In the center is South Dakota (BB-57), firing her starboard 5"/38 secondary battery, as marked by the bright flash amidships. Text courtesy of USNHC # 80-G-20989, courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Photo added 09/22/13.
BB-57 South Dakota 86k Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. Attack on the Enterprise (CV-6). One plane is pulling out and heading for the South Dakota (BB-57). U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-33345, submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 80k Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. Attack on the Enterprise (CV-6). One plane is heading for the South Dakota (BB-57). U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-33346, submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 108k A gun captain points out a Japanese Kate torpedo bomber moving in to launch a torpedo. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 28k A Kate torpedo bomber races for its target just before being hit. It burned and crashed into the sea without hitting. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 152k Members of a 16-Inch turret crew looking through periscope for a view of the outside action. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 61k The Medical Corps comes to the aid of a wounded crew member. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 54k Mahan (DD-364) maneuvers near another destroyer and South Dakota (BB-57), during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-30169, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-57 South Dakota 111k Shaw (DD-373) transferring survivors of Porter (DD-356) between Shaw and South Dakota (BB-57), on 28 October 1942. Porter had been torpedoed and sunk two days earlier, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Photographed from on board the South Dakota, one of whose 40mm quad gun mounts, covered with canvas, is in the foreground. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # USNHC # 80-G-33381, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-57 South Dakota 62k South Dakota (BB-57) after the Santa Cruz air battles, taken from what appears to be the Washington (BB-56). USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 351k The ship's company signal a tally for the action at Santa Cruz. Courtesy of 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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