Images of the Past - Launching the Battleship South Dakota

Apr 3, 2017

Credit South Dakota State Historical Society Archives

An audio recording restored and archived by the South Dakota State Historical Society Archives captures the launching of the Battleship South Dakota on June 7, 1941.

The recording features the voice of radio announcer Lewis Fischer of WCAU in Philadelphia. The original lacquer discs were sent by airmail to WNAX in Yankton, which broadcast the recording. WNAX presented the discs to Governor and Mrs. Harlan Bushfield, who in turn donated them to the South Dakota State Historical Society.

Vera Bushfield christened the ship at the New York Ship Building Corporation at Camden, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor would not happen until six months later, but work on other warships at the ship yard was barely paused for the christening.
Credit South Dakota State Historical Society Archives

This is an edited clip from the original 21-minute recording.

Listen to the entire recording, read a transcript, and learn more at this South Dakota State Historical Society Archives Web page.

Learn more about the launch of the Battleship South Dakota and the restored recording on this State Historial Society Web page.