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“Battleship X” is the USS South Dakota

After the Battle of Santa Cruz and Guadalcanal, “Battleship X” is identified as the USS South Dakota. Source: Newsmap, U.S. Army Service Forces, Army Information Branch, October 11, 1943.


Because she was the first of a new class of battleships bearing new armament and possessing greatly increased firepower, official Navy communiques did not identify the warship which shot down 32 Jap planes during the Battle of Santa Cruz, Oct. 26, 1942, and sank three Jap cruisers off Guadalcanal Nov. 14, 1942. She was known only as the “Battleship X” until last week, when the Navy identified her as the USS South Dakota. She has three sister ships, the USS Massachusetts, the USS Indiana and the USS Alabama.

Battleship X is the USS South Dakota

Big 16-inch guns enable the South Dakota to knock off enemy ships before they can bring weapons within range.

Japanese Torpedo Bombers, Battle of Santa Cruz

These Jap torpedo bombers had visions of a second Repulse and Prince of Wales as they skimmed in toward the South Dakota. During the first enemy attack in the Battle of Santa Cruz, 20 out of 20 Jap dive bombers were shot down.

Battle of Santa Cruz, WW2, Pacific

Automatic Bofors and Oerlikon batteries of the South Dakota (center) and the carrier Enterprise (right) put up a shield of hot steel. The Enterprise and her planes accounted for 63 Jap planes during the Battle of Santa Cruz.

Quadruple Automatic 40mm Bofors

This is one of the quadruple automatic 40mm Bofors, mounted on a fast-swinging turret which brings its guns to bear on rapidly moving planes. The new battleships are covered with these 20mm Oerlikons and heavier pieces.


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