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The USS Dakota was a United States Navy battleship of a post-dreadnought design that served during the Great War. She was named for the state of Dakota, in the north-central United States, bordering Canada.

The Dakota mainly served in the Pacific Ocean during the Great War, where she took part in the conquest of the Sandwich Islands.[1] She saw heavy action against both British and Japanese vessels in that theater. The Japanese used a scouting aeroplane to draw her and fellow ships out into attacking a squadron of Japanese warships but also into the path of hidden submersibles which torpedoed her. She remained afloat and limped back to Pearl Harbor for repairs that took six months.[2] She was also badly damaged in the Battle of the Three Navies. Her rudder was jammed and she was forced to move in circles, vulnerable to enemy fire. Nonetheless, the ship survived, and became something of a legend.

After that battle, the Dakota was transferred to the South Atlantic Ocean, where she saw action against British and Argentinian vessels. In 1917 the Dakota took part in a massive Central Powers fleet that included American, Brazilian, and Chilean ships. In the South Atlantic, she enjoyed the dubious distinction of being one of the first capital ships to come under air attack when an Argentine biplane narrowly missed her with an armor-piercing bomb. The Central Powers task force finally managed to cut the supply lines between Britain and Argentina, forcing Britain to surrender. She received news of Britain's surrender minutes before engaging an Entente fleet of British and Argentine ships that was roughly the same size.

The Dakota returned to New York City to take part in the victory celebration after the end of the Great War. Following the war, she was retired, but was reactivated for the Second Great War.

People known to have served aboard the DakotaEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. American Front, pgs. 58-63, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 370-374.

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