Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The South Dakota Battleship Memorial in Sioux Falls
The South Dakota was 660' long with 9 huge 16" guns. This ship could travel at some 30 mph with her 130,000 hp engines. The South Dakota was heavily involved in many of the largest battles in WWII and was claimed to have been sunk by the Japanese at least twice. This lead to the battleship being called Battleship X so as not to give away the fact that the South Dakota had survived the battle intact.
The South Dakota was also involved in one of the last battleship to battleship surface conflict in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal where the South Dakota demolished several Japanese ships using guns like this one that fires a 16" shell that weighs over 2,600 pounds! Imagine that heading your way!
Of course, the gun barrels had to be cleaned as this sailor shows. This would be a very tight fit for most folks today and Rick was very happy he was not asked to clean this out!