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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-57 USS SOUTH DAKOTA
September 1944 - September 1945 / Victory in the Pacific

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Bravo - Charlie

To Additional Pages

July 1937 - July 1942 / Construction - Shakedown
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
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 65k Admiral Nimitz coming aboard the South Dakota (BB-57), greeted by Bull Halsey. Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 33k Admiral Chester Nimitz and Admiral Halsey aboard South Dakota (BB-57), 1944. Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 204k The Essex (CV-9) takes a hit as seen by the South Dakota (BB-57). On 25 November 1944, for the first time in her far-ranging operations and destruction to the enemy, Essex received injury. A kamikaze hit the port edge of her flight deck landing among planes gassed for takeoff, causing extensive damage, killing 15, and wounding 44. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-57 South Dakota 33k Captain Momsen was commanding officer of the battleship South Dakota (BB-57) in December 1944 - July 1945. He appears here as an Rear Admiral on board ship, circa the later 1940s or the 1950s. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 65031. Donation of Mrs. Charles B. Momsen. Photo submitted by Bill Gonyo on 08/30/08.
Task Group 38.3 570k Task Group 38.3 beginning to reform a column formation after making a simultaneous turn to port. The ships are entering Ulithi Anchorage on 12 December 1944 after strikes against the Japanese in the Philippines. Ships visible in this photo are: Langley (CVL-27); Ticonderoga (CV-14); Washington (BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); South Dakota (BB-57); Santa Fe (CL-60); Biloxi (CL-80); Mobile (CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95). USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Task Group 38.3 455k Task Group 38.3 enters Ulithi anchorage in column, 12 December 1944 while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines. Ships are (from front): Langley (CVL-27); Ticonderoga(CV-14); Washington(BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); South Dakota (BB-57); Santa Fe (CL-60); Biloxi (CL-80); Mobile(CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95). Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-301351 & HN-SD-97-00850 now in the collections of the National Archives. Photo from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Task Group 38.31.2m
Task Group 38.3 enters Ulithi anchorage in column, 12 December 1944 while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines. Ships are (from front): Ticonderoga(CV-14); Washington(BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); South Dakota (BB-57); Santa Fe (CL-60).
USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
TG.38.3 575k TG.38.3 entering Ulithi on 12 December 1944, taken by Essex (CV-9), & showing the Ticonderoga(CV-14); Washington(BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); and South Dakota (BB-57). USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
TG.38.3 88k Battleships of the U.S Pacific Fleet following Ticonderoga(CV-14) (out of photo ahead of the Washington) entering Ulithi Atoll on 12 December 1944. Washington(BB-56), North Carolina (BB-55), and South Dakota (BB-57) are in line ahead formation. Note that three camouflage schemes are shown; MS22 (Washington), MS32/18d (North Carolina) and MS21 (South Dakota). Naval Historical Photo #80-G-301950 submitted by Mike Green.
Typhoon Cobra 258k 17 December 1944, Typhoon Cobra - taken from the superstructure when 25-foot waves were coming over the #2 turret. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 132k Starboard and overhead line art drawing by A.L. Raven shows the South Dakota (BB-57) in 1945. Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-57 South Dakota 78k Steaming into heavy seas on 24 February 1945, while en route to take part Task Force 58's second Tokyo raid of the month. Photographed from atop the battleship's forward fire control platform. Spray is enveloping the forecastle 40mm gun mounts in weather that curtailed the number of strikes flown on 25 February and forced the cancellation of those planned for the 26th. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-K-3345, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-57 South Dakota 542k The South Dakota (BB-57) receives gas cylinders from the Chikaskia (AO-54) on Feb. 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 184k Getting the hoses ready for refueling at sea, something that was done several hundred times during her career. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 221k South Dakota's (BB-57) band strikes up the hit tune "Ode to a refueling Destroyer, 1945." USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 110k The battleship South Dakota (BB-57) takes a wave over the bow as the ship operates off Okinawa on 1 March 1945. Note that her bow-mounted 40mm quad is almost completely covered by spray. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 65k A OS2U Kingfisher floatplane comes alongside the South Dakota (BB-57) after a rescue mission off Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands on 2 March 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 282k Fantail, probably at Ulithi, around March 1945. Note the #3 16-Inch Turret swung to port for the ship's band to perform an informal concert. U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 409k Ship's anti-aircraft in action off Southern Honshu, Japan, on 10 March 1945. The battleship South Dakota (BB-57) is in the foreground. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 52k Men during an alert aboard South Dakota (BB-57), 28 March 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 692k South Dakota (BB-57) firing as taken by Essex (CV-9) during the occupation of Okinawa. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 333k Anti-aircraft bursts from TF58 as Jap plane is hit and explodes just beyond the Essex (CV-9) in action off Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, on 11 April 1945 as seen from the South Dakota (BB-57). USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 118k Presents from the mainland U.S. arriving via sea for delivery to the Japanese. Taking on 16-inch shells from an ammunition ship. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 95k Taking on 16-inch shells from an ammunition ship. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 127k Taking on 16-inch shells. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 723k 16-Inch Shells being stored aboard South Dakota (BB-57). Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 250k A portable crane is used aboard South Dakota (BB-57) to load 16-Inch shells. Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 44k A Sailor works inside one of South Dakota's (BB-57) 16-Inch guns. Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 125k Quadruple 40mm mount practice. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 467k South Dakota (BB-57) steams across Lexington's (CV-16) stern on 28 April 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 345k South Dakota (BB-57) as outfitted April 1945. Drawn by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource. Courtesy of John Robert Barrett. Photo courtesy of Navy Yard Associates.
BB-57 South Dakota 205k While rearming from the ammunition ship Wrangell (AE-12) on 6 May 1945, a tank of 16-inch high capacity powder exploded, causing a fire and exploding four more tanks. Turret No. 2 magazines were flooded and the fires put out. The ship lost three men killed instantly; eight more died of injuries; and 24 others suffered non-fatal wounds. The ship retired to Guam from 11 to 29 May when she sailed for Leyte, arriving on 1 June.
This photo was taken on 6 May 1945, 20 minutes following the sixteen-inch powder explosion by turret #3.
Courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-57 South Dakota 265k The South Dakota (BB-57) is pictured here secured to the handling lines of the floating drydock ABSD-6 on 11 May due to damage sustained after the ammo explosion of 6 May.
USN photo courtesy of Mauer D. Rell, S1C 8/43-12/46 & Pieter Bakels. Photo i.d. courtesy of Cathy Verschelden.
BB-57 South Dakota 426k The South Dakota (BB-57) in the floating drydock ABSD-6 off Guam after the ammo explosion of 6 May.
Atop her Mainmast radar platform is an inclined SC-4 antenna for zenith search and on the portside of it, an AS571/SLR ECM antenna.
Directly below on a platform her aft "SG" surface search set.
In front and aft of her "SK" radar platform hardly visible here, are two SPT-4 circular plates/disks for the active jamming system operating in the range of 200-550 MHz, derived directly from the APQ-2 airborne jammers, designed for use against night fighters in bombers, are bracketed to the platform.
On the fore topmast is a "SG" set with attached P/S, SPR-1/APR-1 antennas, a passive collection system to detect Japanese radars.
Fitted P/S of her Fwd. Air Defence are another two, not visible here.
Just below, two TDY-1A, newer and more powerful than SPT-4, operating in a higher frequency band and intended as a counter to enemy shipborne fire control radars, were fitted P/S of her Foretop and below that, also P/S, two 2AX-NAN "Nancy" IR beacons (not visible here).
Directly below the Fwd. Air Defence Level AS-37 "Wagon Wheel" antennas and a DBM antenna are visible.
Atop the Mk.38 Director (spot 1), the Mk.8 Main Battery Fire Control set.
Note the 20mm gallery atop her No.2 sixteen inch turret and just eight twin five-inch mounts.
The "scoreboard" on her fire control tower (spot 3) has been painted over, much to the annoyance of her crew.
Numerous whip antennas for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications can be seen.
USN photo courtesy of Mauer D. Rell, S1C 8/43-12/46 & Pieter Bakels. Photo i.d. courtesy of Cathy Verschelden. Technical description courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 939k Crewmwmbers of the South Dakota (BB-57) prepare the ship for painting while in drydock. Note the chains suspended from the main deck to the scaffolds. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 304k The Bunker Hill (CV-17) burning as gas and ammunition explode after being atttacked by Japanese suicide divers as seen by the South Dakota (BB-57) on 11 May 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 285k Bunker Hill (CV-17) burning after being attacked by Japanes kamikazes, as seen from the South Dakota (BB-57), 11 May 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 220k Having chow topside-Too hot below. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 66k Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee, Jr., USN, Commander Battleship Squadron Two. On board South Dakota (BB-57), circa 1945. This photograph was received by the Navy Photographic Science Laboratory on 24 May 1945. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-322412, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-57 South Dakota 269k The United States battleships Indiana (BB-58), Massachusetts (BB-59) and Alabama (BB-60) form a line ahead during target practice as seen from the South Dakota (BB-57), 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-58 Indiana 419k The battleships Indiana (BB-58) and Massachusetts (BB-59) operating off Honshu. The Massachusetts is firing. The South Dakota (BB-57) can be seen behind her. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 64k Bombardment of Kamaishi, Japan, 14 July 1945. South Dakota (BB-57) fires her forward 16"/45 guns at Kamaishi targets during the bombardment. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-490175, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-58 Indiana 74k Bombardment of Kamaishi, Japan, 14 July 1945. Battleships and heavy cruisers steam in column off Kamaishi, at the time they bombarded the iron works there, as seen from South Dakota (BB-57). Indiana (BB-58) is the nearest ship, followed by Massachusetts (BB-59). Cruisers Chicago (CA-136) and Quincy (CA-71) bring up the rear. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 80-G-490143, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-57 South Dakota 230k Kamaishi, just 275 miles north of Tokyo and home of the Japanese Imperial Iron Works, burns violently after shell after 16-Inch shell covered the area. Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 251k The bombardment of Kamaishi as seen from the decks of South Dakota (BB-57). Courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 116k Japanese harbor pilot aboard South Dakota (BB-57) entering Tokyo Bay. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-57 South Dakota 569k Mount Fujiyama, Japan as seen from the South Dakota (BB-57) in Tokyo Bay. August 1945. NARA FILE #: 080-G-490487. Photo # HD-SN-99-03030 from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
BB-57 South Dakota 58k The Victors write the Surrender Terms- Note the South Dakota (BB-57) in the background. USNIP., November 1947. Photo 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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