SoDak back after 72 years and 2 days

South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota, and the first U.S. Navy warship named in honor of the state was Armored Cruiser No. 9, a Pennsylvania-class ACR of some 15,000-tons that commissioned in 1908.

That vessel was renamed USS Huron (CA-9) in 1920 so that “South Dakota” could be recycled to a new BB-49-class of six 47,000-ton 23-knot battlewagons, each armed with 16″/50 caliber Mark 2 guns.

Preliminary Design for the 1919 Program Battleships. May 3, 1918, A preliminary design plan for battleships to be built with the Fiscal Year 1919 funding. This plan represented the final development of the South Dakota (Battleship # 49) class preliminary design. Photo #: S-584-132

Well, the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921 caused their cancellation before any of these behemoths were launched, and they were all broken up in place, their guns passed on to the Army to use in coastal defense batteries.

The second SoDak that commissioned was, of course, the leader of a new class of four fast battleships laid down in 1939-40. Winner of a full 13 battlestars, BB-57 was known in the media as “Battleship X” across some of her more spectacular deployments during the war in the Pacific in the interest of OPSEC.

Decommissioned 31 January 1947, after less than five years with the fleet, she was laid up in Philadelphia for the next 15 years and was sold for scrap.

USS South Dakota (BB-57) crewmen haul down the National Ensign as the battleship is decommissioned, at the Philadelphia Naval Base, Pennsylvania, 31 January 1947. NHHC 73929

Now, the third SoDak, USS South Dakota (SSN-790), a brand new Virginia-class submarine built at EB’s Groton Shipyard, was commissioned Saturday, adding the name back to active service. Gratefully, some of BB-57s WWII crew were able to make it to the event.

GROTON, Conn. (Feb. 2, 2019) Richard Hackley, a veteran who served aboard the battleship USS South Dakota (BB 57), passes the long glass to Lt. Benjamin McFarland, the first officer of the deck to stand duty aboard the submarine South Dakota, during the boat’s commissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London, Feb. 2, 2019. South Dakota is the U.S. Navy’s 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the third ship named for the State of South Dakota. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tristan B. Lotz/Released)

“It is very impressive and I am very honored to be a part of this,” said Richard Hackley, a seaman 1 st Class (Radar Striker) aboard the battleship USS South Dakota during World War II. “I’ve got fond memories from serving on South Dakota and to be included in the new South Dakota is quite an honor for me.”

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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