A broadside view of the USS South Carolina, anchored in Charleston Harbor. This picture was taken from the mouth of the harbor (looking inland) on Thursday, August 13, 1998 … the South Carolina’s last full day in South Carolina waters. It was a sultry, overcast day, which is why these pictures are so gray and the Cooper River bridge is barely visible in the right background.
Stern view of the USS South Carolina, with Old Glory flying proudly. The South Carolina, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, was launched in Newport News, Virginia, on July 1, 1972, commissioned on January 25, 1975, and decommissioned in Charleston Harbor on August 11, 1998. She left Charleston on the afternoon of August 14, headed to a deactivation ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia, on August 28. The ship is 596 feet long and manned by a crew of 500 sailors. Norfolk is her home port.
The South Carolina’s bridge, as seen from her starboard (right) side. The seal on the left indicates that the South Carolina was a member of the Navy’s George Washington Battle Group. The four Es in the center are battle efficiency ribbons she won in Atlantic Fleet competitions. And the multi-colored bars on the right are battle ribbons.
The South Carolina’s forward gun, as seen from her port (left) side. In addition to four missile launchers and a forest of electronic gear, the South Carolina also carries an aft gun. Both guns saluted Fort Sumter as the South Carolina left Charleston Harbor for the last time.
While the USS South Carolina was in Charleston for her last visit, thousands of South Carolinians toured the ship. The Navy even provided free water taxi service from shore. This picture shows the Charleston Harbor Princess, a Grey Line excursion boat, tied to a barge lashed to the South Carolina’s port side.
Visit USS South Carolina’s Naval Vessel Register.
Reflections on the USS South Carolina CGN-37
The following statement was sent in by Richard Molck: “When I was trying to save the USS Wainwright CG-28 for a museum to ported in Charleston, and was in talks with Patriot’s Point, I was told that they didn’t even want the USS South Carolina’s artifacts for display. I was at awe with this statement, and it really hurt, not only as a Naval veteran, but also as a resident of South Carolina.”
Richard, we wholeheartedly agree!