U.S.S. South Dakota

USS South Dakota


Special Collections Reference: VA 63 .S72 1972

The USS South Dakota was the first of a group of fast battleships built under 1939 fiscal year appropriations just prior to World War II. The other vessels in her class were: Indiana, Massachusetts and Alabama. The USS South Dakota was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey and was launched on 7 June 1941 and commissioned on 20 March 1942. The South Dakota class vessels had nine 16-inch guns mounted in triple turrets. After commissioning she served in the Pacific where she promptly ran aground on a coral reef and had to go to Peal Harbor for repairs. At the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal she suffered a massive power failure and was out of action while receiving 42 topside hits. At this point the South Dakota returned to New York for repairs, after which she joined the British Home fleet for a period before returning to the Pacific again operating as a carrier escort. She ended the war in Tokyo Bay at the surrender of Japan. She was sold for scrap in 1962. Two sister ships remain as museums: Massachusetts and Alabama.