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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-57 USS SOUTH DAKOTA
Post WW-II - Scrapping

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Bravo - Charlie

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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 35k South Dakota (BB-57) anchored in Sagami Wan, Honshu, on 27 August and entered Tokyo Bay on the 29th. She steamed out of Tokyo Bay on 20 September and proceeded, via Okinawa and Pearl Harbor, to the west coast of the United States.
Co. E 3rd. Fleet Marine provisional landing force getting final orders before leaving the South Dakota for landing in Japan. (Hiram Quillin from left, with baseball cap.)
Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-57 South Dakota 305k South Dakota (BB-57) taken as she returned to the USA after war’s end. Photo courtesy of David Buell.
Photo added 02/13/14.
BB-57 South Dakota 296k A Sikorsky HNS-1, 1945 was the first production helo outside Germany and among the first in the world. Out of 131 built, 22 went to the Navy for training and trial purposes, one of which was used to bring Admiral Halsey aboard South Dakota (BB-57). Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 47k South Dakota (BB-57) taken as she entered San Francisco Bay after the end of the war. Note the "homeward bound" pennant. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-57 South Dakota 167k The crew of the South Dakota (BB-57) are most likely lining the deck during the change of command ceremony when Admiral Halsey was relieved of Third Fleet command on South Dakota's fantail on 22 November, 1945. USN photo courtesy of Mauer D. Rell, S1C 8/43-12/46 & Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 147k Admiral Halsey relieved of Third Fleet command on South Dakota's (BB-57) fantail on 22 November, 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 97k Front cover of the PDF article detailing South Dakota's (BB-57) Victory Party Program, 28 November 1945 at the Municipal Auditorium at Long Beach, California. Courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-57 South Dakota 194k South Dakota (BB-57) returns to Philadelphia for mothballing on 20 January 1946. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 280k South Dakota (BB-57) after mothballing on 20 January 1946. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 280k South Dakota (BB-57) after mothballing on 20 January 1946. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard667kPhoto taken from Bldg. 620 of Drydock # 5 at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
The Tennessee (BB-43) in the foreground and the fore section of the California (BB-44) outboard at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard sometime after 8 May 1946. Note that they are both still flying their ensigns and jacks, so both are still in commission. The South Dakota (BB-57) is in the left background.
Across the pier past the California are two 4-stack crusiers of the Omaha class. Stripping is apparently underway on the CLs, with at least one smokestack (on the nearest -- inboard -- ship) removed. Some of the stacks on the outboard ship are hidden behind those of the inboard ship.
It appears that the cruisers might be painted in measure MS-21 camouflage, but only two appear to have ended the war in this pattern: Detroit (CL-8) and Trenton (CL-11).
Seven of these cruisers were decommissioned and sold for scrap at the Phila. Navy Yard:
(1) Omaha (CL-4) scrapped beginning 2/46. (MS-22) dated 1945.
(2) Cincinnati (CL-6) scrapping beginning 2/27/46. (MS-22) dated 1945.
(3) Raleigh (CL-7) scrapping beginning 2/27/46. (MS32/1D) dated 1944.
(4) Detroit scrapping beginning 2/27/46. (MS22 & MS21) dated 1945.
(5) Concord (CL-10) scrapping beginning 2/27/47. (MS33/2F) dated 1944.
(6) Trenton (CL-11) scrapping beginning 12/29/46. (MS21) dated 1945.
(7) Marblehead (CL-12) scrapping beginning 2/27/46.(MS22) dated 1945.
It is possible that the outboard cruiser (further from the camera) may not be in measure 21. The stack appears a bit lighter and that would mean cruisers in measure 22 would also have to be included. Note that #4 stack of the outboard cruiser is obscured by #3 of the inboard ship (which also looks a little bit lighter?). In any case both Richmond (CL-9) and Memphis (CL-13) would also have to be considered. This is especially true since Richmond was in MS 21 in late 1945.
Also in the background is the former Olympia (ex-C-6) (IX-40).
Notice the flatcar going to the storage yards on other side of the lift bridge to Bldg. 750. It is full of single barrel 20mm A.A. mounts is in the foreground on the train/trolley tracks.
USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Partial text and photo i.d. and a lot of homework courtesy of Mike Green, Aryeh Wetterhorn, Chuck Haberlein, Tracy White & Joe Lewis & Ron Reeves (HTC) USNR (ret.)
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard102kBattleships in dry-dock; Tennessee (BB-43) & California (BB-44) taken between 8 May and 27 October 1946.
This photo comes from the U.S.Naval Institute and has an accompanying photocopy identifying all of the surrounding ships.
It does identify the two cruisers as Detroit (CL-8) (inboard) and Trenton (CL-11)(outboard). It also identifies two returned U.K. DEs: HMS Rupert (DE-96) outboard of Olympia (ex-C-6) (IX-40), and HMS Berry (DE-3) ahead of the cruisers, and visible in the California's photo (it's still wearing its British hull #--K312).
The Naval Institute photo was taken at a later date, as more of the "packaging" on the two battleships had been completed.
According to Tennessee's deck logs, she entered Drydock #5 with California on 8 May 1946.
South Dakota (BB-57) (mid-stern section visible at upper left of photo) subsequently entered Drydock #4--the 1946 "Navy Day" program from the shipyard indicates that this had taken place by 27th October of that year.

The four CLs that were scrapped in Drydock #4 at the Philadelphia NSY were: Omaha (CL-4), Cincinnati (CL-6), Raleigh (CL-7) and Marblehead (CL-12).
I have two documents from the 4th Naval District, and of course they give different completion dates for the scrapping of these ships. The first document (dated 1 Apr 46) indicates that scrapping was completed on 27 February of that year; the second document (also dated 1 April 46) gives the completion date as 10 March 1946.
(My notes also indicate that scrapping was completed at the yard on nine ex-destroyer types as of 29 March 46: Litchfield (DD-336), Pruitt (DD-347), Jouett (DD-396), Clark (DD-361), Balch (DD-363), Sampson(DD-394), Schley (DD-103), Stringham (DD-83) and Whipple (DD-217).

The remaining CLs; Detroit (CL-8), Trenton (CL-11), Richmond (CL-9), Concord (CL-10) and Memphis (CL-13) were all sold to the Patapsco Scrap Co. of Baltimore. The sales bid (B-76-47AV T) was opened on 6 December 46; the five ships were sold for $336,140 (or $67,228 each), and custody of the ships was transferred to Patapsco between 27 December 46 and 21 January 47.
Note also that the attached photo distinctly shows that both cruisers have all four funnels--I think it's an optical illusion that either of these had had any of them removed.

The "light colored objects" in front of the two cruisers might "possibly" be barbettes from the Illinois (BB-65). According to drawings in the 1945 "Gun Mount and Turret Catalog", these two items appear to be about the same diameter as the barbettes for the two BBs' Tennessee & California; 14"/50 triple gun turrets; inside diameter 31 feet, from the same source -- outside diameter would have been about 33 feet. The Illinois barbettes would have an inside diameter about 37 1/4 feet, outside diameter rather over 39 feet.
USN photo submitted by Joe Lewis, courtesy of U.S.Naval Institute.
Majority text by Joe Lewis.
Chuck Haberlein contributed to the (BB-65) i.d. with text.
BB-57 South Dakota 216k The battleship South Dakota (BB-57) resting in the ship storage yard at Philadelphia, PA, 29 August 1946.
Note all the secondary weaponry has been removed.
hotographer: Sam Shere,courtesy of life.time.
BB-57 South Dakota 106k The battleship South Dakota (BB-57) resting in the ship storage yard with it's guns sealed, 29 August 1946. hotographer: Sam Shere,courtesy of life.time.
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 216k The US armed forces ship storage yard at Philadelphia, PA, 29 August 1946.
The battleship South Dakota (BB-57) is in the foreground. The Tennessee (BB-43) is to the upper left and the California (BB-44) is to the lower right.
Note also the Los Angeles (CA-135) & Chicago (CA-136) in Drydock # 4.
Photographer: Sam Shere,courtesy of life.time.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ron Reeves (HTC) USNR (ret.)
BB-57 South Dakota 167k Taken at Philadelphia after she entered Drydock #4--the 1946 "Navy Day" program from the shipyard indicates that this had taken place by 27th October of that year.
South Dakota (BB-57) after her bow 40mm mounts have been removed. She sailed from the west coast on 8 January 1946 for Philadelphia and a yard overhaul. In June, she was attached to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. On 31 January 1947, she was placed in reserve, out of commission.
Photo courtesy of Byron A. Tietjen, FC2C 6/42-12/43.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Mike Green & Joe Lewis.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-57 South Dakota 131k Still a commissioned warship as evidenced from the flag flying from her mast at the bow. Bow view of the South Dakota (BB-57) sometime after 8 January 1946 at Philadelphia for a yard overhaul. In June, she was attached to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. On 31 January 1947, she was placed in reserve, out of commission.
South Dakota is athwart DD # 5, as you can see the caisson in the dock is below the sawmill that was on the pier between DD # 4 & 5. That's where the wood for the keel blocks was cut.
Photo courtesy of Byron A. Tietjen, FC2C 6/42-12/43.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Mike Green, Joe Lewis & Ron Reeves (HTC) USNR (ret.)
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-57 South Dakota 121k Crewmen haul down the National Ensign as the battleship is decommissioned, at the Philadelphia Naval Base, Pennsylvania, 31 January 1947. USNHC # NH 73929, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard53kAerial view of the Philadelphia Navy Base Shipyard and reserve fleet basin, March, 1948. Battleships in dry-dock in lower right include the Tennessee (BB-43), California (BB-44), and South Dakota (BB-57). The Spanish-American Olympia (ex-C-6) (IX-40), still on display in Philadelphia, is docked at the extreme right. USN photo # NA 80-G-392457, courtesy of "Volunteer State Battlewagon- U.S.S. Tennessee (BB-43)" by Myron J. Smith, Jr., submitted by Mike Green.
Redfin94k Redfin (SSR-272) is in Drydock # 4...Bldg 620 is to the right at the Phila. Naval Yard, 1951, cut in two waiting for the Navigational Information Center to be placed between control and forward battery. The battleship in the background of the photo is the South Dakota (BB-57). It might also be noted from the photo that the South Dakota no longer has the bow mounted 40mm mounts that were carried during the war, having been removed during her 1946 overhaul. Contributed by John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Photo i.d. courtesy of William F. Fessenden & Ron Reeves (HTC) USNR (ret.)
BB-57 South Dakota 104k 24 August 1961 show the South Dakota (BB-57) and cruisers, Dayton (CL-105) and Huntington (CL-107), in the Philadelphia Navy Yard Reserve facility. USN photo.
BB-57 South Dakota 1.69k Cmdr. J. O'Leary, USN Phila group commander of the Atlantic reserve fleet, points out the part of the South Dakota (BB-57) to a group of six South Dakotans who are here to pick out part of the battleship their state may want to memorialize...... 30 June 1962. UPI Telephoto courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 84k 1962 image of South Dakota (BB-57) being removed from Philadelphia to begin her last voyage to the scrap yard. USNI / USN photo.
BB-57 South Dakota 64k Number two turret after the guns were removed. From Paul Stillwell's book on the South Dakota (BB-57), published by the S. Dakota Memorial Foundation.
BB-57 South Dakota 116k Late 1962 - early 1963 photo of the South Dakota (BB-57) being scrapped. USN photo.
BB-57 South Dakota 220k Onboard of South Dakota (BB-57), taken at Kearny, NY., while being scrapped. Note the 5' turrets on the side. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 113k Taken aboard South Dakota (BB-57) at Kearny, N.Y., while being scrapped. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 173k South Dakota Memorial Foundation Museum. From Paul Stillwell's book on the South Dakota (BB-57), published by the S. Dakota Memorial Foundation.
BB-57 South Dakota 414k 1/48 scale model of the South Dakota under construction by Pieter Bakels and his son (in the background). Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
(NISMF)376kA guest studies a painting depicting the history of battleships. The artwork was painted by George Skybeck and presented to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association during their annual banquet at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 8 December 1991. USN photo # DN-SC-92-05391, by PHC Carolyn Harris, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
World War II Memorial371k A quote made by Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz is inscribed on a granite wall at the National World War II Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Fleet Adm. Nimitz was the United States signatory to the surrender terms aboard the battleship Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay, Japan on 2 September 1945, thus ending World War II. Established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the memorial honors all military veterans of World War II, the citizens on the home front, the nation at large, and the high moral purpose and idealism that motivated the nation's call to arms. On 29 May 2004, the memorial was formally dedicated with an estimated 200,000 people expected to attend, and includes 100,000 visiting veterans of all wars. U.S. Navy photo # N-0295M-011 by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain, courtesy of news.navy.mil.

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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