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United States' South Dakota Class Battleships

Photos

BB-57 USS South Dakota in heavy seas on February 24, 1942:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota in heavy seas on February 24, 1942
US Navy, 80-G-K-3345

BB-57 USS South Dakota undergoing repairs at Noumea, New Caledonia in November 1942:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota undergoing repairs at Noumea, New Caledonia in November 1942
US Navy, 80-G-36088

BB-57 USS South Dakota bombard Kamaishi, Japan on July 14, 1945:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota bombard Kamaishi, Japan on July 14, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-490175
BB-57 USS South Dakota in the Atlantic during her shakedown cruise during July 1942:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota in the Atlantic during her shakedown cruise during July 1942
US Navy, 80-G-455247

BB-57 USS South Dakota at Hvalfjordur, Iceland in June 24, 1943:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota at Hvalfjordur, Iceland in June 24, 1943
US Navy, NH-97265

BB-57 USS South Dakota's Kingfisher's crew is boarding:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota's Kingfisher's crew is boarding
Imperial War Museum, A-17646
BB-57 USS South Dakota in the Atlantic during her shakedown cruise during July 1942:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota in the Atlantic during her shakedown cruise during July 1942
US Navy, 80-G-455248

BB-57 USS South Dakota off the east coast on August 9, 1943:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota off the east coast on August 9, 1943
US Navy, NH-97263

BB-57 USS South Dakota's Kingfisher has been launched:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota's Kingfisher has been launched
Imperial War Museum, A-17648
BB-57 USS South Dakota at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, 1942. A Kate is flying by:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, 1942. A Kate is flying by
US Navy, 80-G-30054

BB-57 USS South Dakota at Norfolk Navy Yard on August 9, 1943:
United States' BB-57 USS South Dakota at Norfolk Navy Yard on August 9, 1943
US Navy, NH-97264
BB-58 USS Indiana at commissioning on April 30, 1942:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana at commissioning on April 30, 1942
US Navy, 80-G-6692

BB-58 USS Indiana en route to Marshall Islands in January 1944:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana en route to Marshall Islands in January 1944
US Navy, NH-52662

BB-58 USS Indiana restocking 16" powder on April 8, 1945:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana restocking 16" powder on April 8, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-342732
BB-58 USS Indiana in the south Pacific in December 1942:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana in the south Pacific in December 1942
US Navy, 80-G-35773

BB-58 USS Indiana at Majuro Atoll for repairs:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana at Majuro Atoll for repairs
US Navy, 80-G-275955

BB-58 USS Indiana in a typhoon off Okinawa on June 5, 1945:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana in a typhoon off Okinawa on June 5, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-342732
BB-58 USS Indiana sailing to Marshall Islands on January 27, 1944:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana sailing to Marshall Islands on January 27, 1944
US Navy, 80-G-222923

BB-58 USS Indiana during raid on Tokyo on February 12, 1945:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana during raid on Tokyo on February 12, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-303478

BB-58 USS Indiana en route to Kamaishi for bombardment on July 14, 1945:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana en route to Kamaishi for bombardment on July 14, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-490143
BB-58 USS Indiana sailing to Marshall Islands on January 27, 1944:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana sailing to Marshall Islands on January 27, 1944
US Navy, NH-52661

BB-58 USS Indiana's crew having Holy Communion during Okinawa Operation on April 1, 1945:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana's crew having Holy Communion during Okinawa Operation on April 1, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-235209

BB-58 USS Indiana firing on Kamaishi Plant on July 14, 1945:
United States' BB-58 USS Indiana firing on Kamaishi Plant on July 14, 1945
US Navy, 80-G-K-6035
BB-59 USS Massachusetts in Boston Harbor on May 12, 1942:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts in Boston Harbor on Mays 12, 1942
US Navy, NH-97254

BB-59 USS Massachusetts in Casco Bay, Maine in January 1943. Taken from USS Alabama:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts in Casco Bay, Maine in January 1943. Taken from USS Alabama
US Navy, 80-G-K-416

BB-59 USS Massachusetts in Puget Sound on January 22, 1946:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts in Puget Sound on January 22, 1946
US Naval Historical Center, NH-46430
BB-59 USS Massachusetts during the Battle of Casablanca on November 8, 1942:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts during the Battle of Casablanca on November 8, 1942
US Naval Historical Center, NH-84534

BB-59 USS Massachusetts at Point Wilson, Washington on July 11, 1944:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts at Point Wilson, Washington on July 11, 1944
US Navy, NH-97255
BB-59 USS Massachusetts during the Battle of Casablanca on November 8, 1942:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts during the Battle of Casablanca on November 8, 1942
US Navy, 80-G-38832

BB-59 USS Massachusetts at Ulithi on November 24, 1944:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts at Ulithi on November 24, 1944
US Naval Historical Center, NH-58573
BB-59 USS Massachusetts off Casablanca on November 8, 1942:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts off Casablanca on November 8, 1942
US Navy, 80-G-K-2133

BB-59 USS Massachusetts bombarding Kamaishi, Japan in August 1945:
United States' BB-59 USS Massachusetts bombarding Kamaishi, Japan in August 1945
US Navy, 80-G-339333
BB-60 USS Alabama at launching on February 16, 1942:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama at launching on February 16, 1942
US Naval Historical Center, NH-75608

BB-60 USS Alabama during shakedown cruise in December 1942:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama during shakedown cruise in December 1942
US Navy, 80-G-K-495

BB-60 USS Alabama's boilers during shakedown cruise in January 1943:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama's boilers during shakedown cruise in January 1943
US Navy, 80-G-38002
BB-60 USS Alabama in Casco Bay, Maine in December 1942:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama in Casco Bay, Maine in December 1942
US Naval Historical Center, NH-57209

BB-60 USS Alabama during its shakedown cruise in December 1942:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama during its shakedown cruise in December 1942
US Navy, 80-G-K-497

BB-60 USS Alabama at Norfolk Navy Yard on February 7, 1943:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama at Norfolk Navy Yard on February 7, 1943
US Naval Historical Center, NH-96025
BB-60 USS Alabama in Casco Bay, Maine in December 1942:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama in Casco Bay, Maine in December 1942
US Navy, 80-G-K-443

BB-60 USS Alabama during shakedown cruise in January 1943:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama during shakedown cruise in January 1943
US Navy, 80-G-37936

BB-60 USS Alabama with Task Force 58.2 in 1944:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama with Task Force 58.2 in 1944
US Navy, 80-G-300907
BB-60 USS Alabama in Casco Bay, Maine in December 1942:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama in Casco Bay, Maine in December 1942
US Navy, 80-G-K-445

BB-60 USS Alabama during shakedown cruise in January 1943:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama during shakedown cruise in January 1943
US Navy, 80-G-K-9410

BB-60 USS Alabama on exercises with the British Fleet:
United States' BB-60 USS Alabama on exercises with the British Fleet
Imperial War Museum, A-17629

Design

The South Dakota class was designed to not sacrifice speed as the North Carolina class did, withstand 16" shells, and stay within the 35,000 ton limit as set in the London Treaty.

The funnel was merged with the superstructure which supposedly made it a harder target. There was a recess in the hull amidships that allowed for oxygen to get to the boilers.

Cost for construction was $77,000,000 each.

Aircraft

The South Dakota class had two floatplane catapults.

Armament

The South Dakota class had its secondary armament mounted a deck higher than the North Carolina class.

The 5" guns were the first to use proximity fuses.

Maneuverability

With the South Dakota's short length it was very maneuverable.

Ships

BB-57 USS South Dakota

  • Manufacturer: New York Shipbuilding, G.E.
  • Designed to be a Force Flagship. Extra conning tower level.
  • June 1941: Launched.
  • June 7, 1941: Launched.
  • March 1942: Commissioned.
  • March 20, 1942: Commissioned. Completed.
  • August 10, 1942: Completed.
  • September 6, 1942: Hit rock and had to go to Pearl Harbor for repairs.
  • September - October 12, 1942: Repairs. Two 1.1" mounts replaced by two 40 mm quad mounts. Two more mountings added.
  • October 16, 1942: Joined TF16 with USS Enterprise. Sailed to join TF 17 north east of Espiritu Santo.
  • October 26, 1942: Santa Cruz. Received damage from a bomb in turret No. 1. Credited with shooting down 26 Japanese aircraft.
  • Sailed for Noumea and collided with USS Mahan.
  • November 14 - 15, 1942: Battle of Guadalcanal. With TF64. Electrical system went out. Received damage.
  • December 18, 1942: Arrived in New York City for repairs.
  • February 25, 1943: Repairs completed.
  • April 2, 1943: With USS Alabama and five destroyers sailed as TF22 to Scapa Flow.
  • May 19, 1943: Arrived at Scapa Flow to join the British Home Fleet.
  • August 9, 1943: Arrived in Norfolk.
  • August 21, 1943: Sailed for Pacific.
  • November 7, 1943: Arrived in Fiji.
  • Gilbert Islands.
  • December 8, 1943: Bombarded Nauru.
  • January 30, 1944: Bombarded Roi and Namur.
  • Kwajalein.
  • February 17 - 18, 1944: Truk raid. With TG58.3.
  • April 21, 1944: Hollandia.
  • April 29 - 30: Truk raid.
  • April 31: Bombarded Ponape Island.
  • June 13, 1944: Saipan.
  • June 19, 1944: Philippine Sea. Hit by a bomb next to the conning tower. 24 men killed and 27 wounded.
  • July 10, 1944: Arrived at Puget Sound for repairs.
  • August 26, 1944: Sailed for Ulithi to join TG38.3.
  • Leyte Gulf.
  • October 6, 1944 - January 22, 1945: Okinawa. Carrier strikes on Formosa, Luzon, Camranh Bay, Hong Kong, and Hainan.
  • February 17, 1945: Strikes on Tokyo.
  • February 19 - 20, 1945: Iwo Jima.
  • February 25, 1945: Strikes on Tokyo.
  • March 1, 1945: Strikes on Okinawa.
  • March 18 - 19, 1945: Strikes on Kobe, Kyushu, and Kure.
  • March 24, 1945: Bombarded Okinawa.
  • May 6, 1945: 11 men killed in an accidental cordite explosion.
  • July 14, 1945: Bombardment of Kamaishi steelworks on Honshu.
  • October, 1945: Arrived in San Pedro.
  • 1944 - 1945: Pacific raids.

BB-58 USS Indiana

  • Manufacturer: Newport News, Westinghouse
  • November 21, 1941: Launched.
  • April 30, 1942: Commissioned. Completed.
  • October 1942: Completed.
  • Joined Battleship Division 7 in Atlantic.
  • November 28, 1942: Joined Carrier Screening Force in Pacific.
  • January - May 1943: Noumea and New Caledonia area.
  • June 1943: With TG36.3 supporting USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga.
  • August 1943: Joined Fast Carrier Attack Force, TF15, with USS Yorktown, USS Essex, and USS Independence in raid on Marcus Island.
  • October 21, 1943: Arrived at Pearl Harbor.
  • November 11, 1943: Sailed for Gilbert Islands campaign.
  • November 19, 1943: Gilbert Islands. Carrier raid on Mili.
  • December 8, 1943: Bombarded Nauru with TG50.3.
  • January 23 - 31, 1944: Bombarded Kwajalein. With TG58.1.
  • February 1 - 2, 1944: Collided with USS Washington. Went to Majuro lagoon for temporary repairs.
  • February 13, 1944: Sailed to Pearl Harbor for repairs.
  • April 29 - May 1, 1944: Truk raid. Joined TF58.
  • Hollandia.
  • June 13 - 14, 1944: Bombarded Saipan.
  • June 19 - 20, 1944: Battle of the Philippine Sea. Hit by kamikaze on June 19.
  • August 1944: Bombarded Palaus with TF38.3.
  • Leyte Gulf.
  • October 23, 1944: Refit in Bremerton.
  • December 12, 1945: Arrived at Pearl Harbor.
  • January 10, 1945: Sailed for Iwo Jima.
  • January 25, 1945: Bombarded Iwo Jima with 203 16" rounds.
  • February 10, 1945: Sailed with TG58.1.
  • February 17, 1945: Raid on Tokyo.
  • February 25, 1945: Raid on Tokyo.
  • March 24, 1945: Bombarded Okinawa.
  • June 5, 1945: Damaged in typhoon off Okinawa.
  • July 1 - August 15, 1945: Screen for carriers on raids against Japanese coast.
  • September 5, 1945: Arrived in Tokyo Bay.
  • September 29, 1945: Arrived in San Francisco.
  • 1943 - 1945: Pacific raids.

BB-59 USS Massachusetts

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem at Quincy, G.E.
  • September 23, 1941: Launched.
  • May 12, 1942: Commissioned. Completed.
  • September 1942: Completed.
  • October 24, 1942: Sailed to join Operation Torch landings in North Africa.
  • North Africa.
  • November 12, 1942: Returned to United States to be transferred to Pacific.
  • March 4, 1943: Arrived in New Caledonia.
  • June 29 - July 13, 1943: Off New Georgia with TG36.3.
  • November 19 - 21, 1943: With TG50.2 on carrier raids in the Gilbert Islands.
  • December 8, 1943: Bombarded Nauru.
  • January 1944: With TG58.1 covering carrier raids on Tarawa.
  • January 30 - February 1, 1944: Bombarded Kwajalein.
  • February 17, 1944: Truk raid with TG58.3.
  • February 21 - 22, 1944: Raids on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam.
  • April 22, 1944: Hollandia.
  • May 1, 1944: Bombarded Ponape.
  • Refit at Puget Sound.
  • July 1944: Arrived in Pearl Harbor.
  • Palau.
  • September 1944: With TG38.3 during carrier strikes on Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon.
  • October 1944: Raids against Formosa, Okinawa, and South China Sea.
  • mid-October 1944: Leyte Gulf landings.
  • December 11, 1944: With TG38.1 attacked Manila.
  • December 14, 1944: Supported landings at Mindoro.
  • January 1945: Attacks on Saigon and Hong Kong.
  • January 23, 1945: Returned to Ulithi.
  • February 10 - March 3, 1945: Raids on Japanese islands.
  • February 23 - March 4, 1945: Supporting Iwo Jima invasion.
  • March 17, 1945: Raid on Kyushu.
  • March 24, 1945: Bombarded Okinawa.
  • April - May 1945: Support Okinawa invasion.
  • 1944 - 1945: Pacific raids.

BB-60 USS Alabama

  • Manufacturer: Norfolk Navy Yard, Westinghouse
  • February, 16, 1942: Launched.
  • August 16, 1942: Commissioned. Completed.
  • November 1942: Completed.
  • May 19, 1943: Joined British Home Fleet with TF61.
  • August 9, 1943: Arrived in Norfolk.
  • August 20, 1943: Arrived in New Hebrides.
  • September 14, 1943: Joined Battleship Division 9.
  • November 7, 1943: Arrived in Fiji.
  • November 11, 1943: Support operations on the Gilbert Islands.
  • November 20, 1943: Supported landings on Tarawa.
  • December 8, 1943: Bombarded Nauru with 535 16" rounds.
  • January 5, 1944: Sailed for Pearl Harbor for a refit.
  • January 21, 1944: Sailed for Funafuti.
  • January 29, 1944: Bombarded Roi.
  • January 30, 1944: Bombarded Namur.
  • Kwajalein.
  • February 17 - 18, 1944: Truk raid.
  • February 26, 1944: Returned to Majuro.
  • March 22, 1944: Palau.
  • April 13 - 30, 1944: With USS Enterprise conducted strikes on Hollandia.
  • Marianas.
  • June 13, 1944: Bombarded Saipan.
  • July 14, 1944: Supported invasion on Guam.
  • August 1944: Attacks on Palau, Yap, and Ulithi with TG38.3.
  • September 1944: Philippines.
  • October 1944: Strikes on Okinawa, Pescadores, and Formosa.
  • Leyte Gulf.
  • November 24, 1944: Sailed for Ulithi.
  • January 18, 1945: Refit in Puget Sound.
  • April 28, 1945: Arrived in Ulithi.
  • October 15, 1945: Arrived in San Francisco.
  • 1944 - 1945: Pacific raids.

Usage

Battle of Guadalcanal

The USS South Dakota was hit by a 14", 18 8", six 6", and one 5" shell. 38 men killed and 60 wounded. After the battle the USS South Dakota sailed to Noumea for temporary repairs and sailed for New York City on November 25.

North Africa Landings

The USS Massachusetts engaged and badly damaged the French battleship Jean Bart. Helped sink the Fougueux and Boulonnais. 240 mm shore batteries hit the USS Massachusetts twice.

 

Specifications

  South Dakota Class
Crew 1,793, 2,500
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 35,000 tons, 37,970 tons
Displacement - Loaded 42,000 tons, 44,519 tons
Length 680'
207.26 m
Length - Water Line 666'
202.99 m
Beam 108' 2", 108' 3"
32.96 m
Draft / Height 26' 9", 29' 3"
8.91 m
Performance  
Speed 27.5 knots, 28 knots, 30 knots
Range at 15 knots 15,000 nautical miles
Armament 16" L/50: 9
16" triple mounts: 3
5" twin mounts: 10
5" L/38: 20
Anti-Aircraft 40 mm: 48, 68
1.1" quad mounts: 3
20 mm: 40
0.5" machine guns: 12
Aircraft 3
Armor  
Barbettes 17.3"
Belt 12.2", 18"
Bulkheads 13.4"
Deck 5.3"
Deck - Main 4"
Deck - Upper 6"
Side 16"
Turrets 18"
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared
General Electric geared
HP 130,000
Oil 6,959 tons
  USS Alabama
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft - 1945 40 mm quad mounts: 12
20 mm: 56
Engines  
Boilers Foster Wheeler
  USS Indiana
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft - 1945 40 mm quad mounts: 12
20 mm: 48
20 mm twin mounts: 4
Engines  
Boilers Foster Wheeler
  USS Massachusetts
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft - 1945 40 mm: 72
40 mm quad mounts: 18
20 mm: 31
20 mm twin mount: 1
20 mm quad mount: 1
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox
  USS South Dakota
Crew 1,793, 2,354
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 37,970 tons, 38,000 tons
Displacement - Loaded 44,374 tons, 44,519 tons
Length 680'
207.26 m, 207.3 m
Length - Water Line 666'
202.99 m
Beam 108' 2", 108' 3"
32.96 m, 33 m
Draft / Height 35' 1", 36' 3"
10.69 m, 11.1 m
Performance  
Speed 27.5 knots, 28 knots
Range at 15 knots 15,000 nautical miles
Armament 16", 406 mm: 9
16" L/45 triple mounts: 3
5", 127 mm: 16
5" twin mounts: 8
5" L/38: 16
5" L/38 twin mounts: 10
Anti-Aircraft 40 mm: 40, 56
20 mm: 40
1.1" quad mounts: 3
0.5" machine guns: 12
Anti-Aircraft - 1942 1.1" quad mounts: 5
40 mm quad mounts: 4
Anti-Aircraft - 1945 40 mm: 68
40 mm quad mounts: 17
20 mm: 72
0.5" machine guns: 8
Aircraft 3
Vought Kingfisher: 3
Armor  
Armor Deck 5.75" - 6"
Barbettes 11.3" - 17.3"
Belt 12.2" , 12.25"
31.1 cm
Belt - Lower 1" - 12.2"
Bulkheads 11"
Deck 1.5" - 5"
3.8 - 12.7 cm
Deck - Weather 1.5"
Turrets 18"
45.7 cm
Turrets - Face 18"
Turrets - Rear 12"
Turrets - Roof 7.25"
Turrets - Side 12"
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared steam
General Electric
HP 130,000
Oil 6,959 tons

Sources:

  1. US Warships of World War 2, Paul H. Silverstone, 1965
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  5. Battleships of World War Two an International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1998
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