USS South Dakota (BB-57) was launched 7 June, 1941 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey and was commissioned 20 March, 1942. USS South Dakota was assigned to Task Force 16, operating with USS Enterprise (CV-6) during the Battle of Santa Cruz. She provided protective fire from her antiaircraft guns when their group was attacked by dive bombers. 40 torpedo planes struck at the two ships. A third aerial assult soon followed when USS South Dakota sustained a 500-pound bomb hit on top of her number one turret. USS South Dakota fought in many battles on Nauru Island, Roi and Namur, Marshall Islands the Marianas, Saipan and Tinian. Off the coast of Tanapag Harbor, Saipan an enemy plane dropped a 500-pound on South Dakota's main deck were it blew a large hole, cut wiring and piping killing 24 and wounding 27. As part of Task Group 38.3 (in 1944) air strikes were launched against Okinawa, Formosa, Luzon, Cape San Jacques and Camranh Bay, Hong Kong, Hainan, Toyko and Iwo Jima. On 14 July she shelled Kamaishi Steel Works, Honshu, the first gunfire attach on the Japanese home islands by heavy warshiops. South dakota received thirteen battle stars for her World War II Service. On 31 January, 1947 she was placed in reserve, out of commission. USS South Dakota was struck from the Navy List on 1 June 1962.
USS South Dakota
Displacement: 35,000 long tons
Length: 680 feet
Width: 108 feet, 2 inches
Draft: 36 feet, 4 inches
Speed: 27 knots
Guns: nine 16 inch and sixteen 5 inch, 68 40 mm, 76 20 mm.
Class: South Dakota
Also see the Naval Historical Center USS South Dakota Collection
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