Nov 8

1945 Color Film of the Battleships South Dakota and Nagato

Monday, November 8, 2010 11:57 AM


 The United States takes possession of the Japanese battleship Nagato at the end of World War II, at Yokusuka Naval Base. The crew of USS Horace A. Bass (APD-124), moored alongside Nagato, board the Japanese battleship. In this footage, the Japanese flag can briefly be seen flying over Nagato, with Horace A. Bass’s American flag in the foreground. The film begins with footage of an American battleship underway, likely USS South Dakota (BB-57). Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section, UM-20.

  • Rick Harden

    It was very exciting to find this video. My father in law was a BM1 aboard the HORACE A. BASS. He never told anyone much about his experience during WWII. He died about 10 years ago, and we recently found at my mother in law’s house a Naval Ensign, Japanese national flag, Japanese sailor’s blouse and cap that he obtained from NAGATO. Also, he had a cruise map with photo collage and various other souvenirs from the BASS (crew lists, typed history of the ship, commissioning ceremony pamphlet, numerous photos, etc. We have been trying to learn about how he came to pocess these items. There was conflicting information about what USN ship secured the NAGATO in literature that we have found, but this video is clear evidence of the BASS’s role.

  • Joe Sandling

    This is definitely the South Dakota, with the 40mm mounted on the bow, the only one like that because it would have blocked the admiral’s view, if mounted on turret no. two like the Alabama. The South Dakota was the original ship chosen for the peace treaty signing idea made by Halsey, King, and Nimitz, but President Truman was from Missouri. South Dakota’s last radio contact at Guadalcanal from Admiral Lee was to get between our destroyers and them, so they did. Navsource has the rest of the story.

  • Eric H

    Finding this video is wonderful! I am currently recording the account of one of the last surviving original crew of the APD-124 USS Horace A. Bass, who is a long time family friend. From basic training at Great Lakes, to their return to San Francisco in early 1946. He will be so happy to see this.

  • Dr.Ed Bonniwell

    My Dad was on the Horace A.Bass in WWII.I have seen pictures of his ship with the Nagata but never film.Dad was a lovely Christian man- a Presbyterian Elder –came home to Newport News Virginia and worked in the ship yard.We lived in Hampton.He spoke often of his little ship- he was indeed a part of the greatest generation.I am his only son and have by my desk a picture of the Bass and a Japanese rifle that hung in my Grandfathers house and now hangs in mine. Watching this has moved me deeply.The Rev Dr. Ed Bonniwell

  • Gerald Morrisey

    My father, who is still alive at age 94, was a crewman of the USS Delta 9AR-9. Apparently they were responsible for boarding the ship and making it ready for eventual towing to the Bikinni Islands.He picked up many items aboard the Nagato and had them sent back to the States. His two prized posessions were and periscope from a Japanese midget sub and a lamp from Yamamotos desk in the admirals quarters. His favorite story is how right after he got the lamp he ran back to his ship to have one of the cabinet makers fashion a box for it to send home. Right after he mailed it he was approached by an exec officer who was looking for the lamp and heard that my dad had it. At that point he was happy it was already safe in the US mail.

    He has photos of himself standing on the deck of the Nagato under the big guns. This movie brings back many memories for him and we’re very gratefull for it’s existance