Pre-World War I
Assigned to the Armored Cruiser Squadron, Pacific Fleet, South Dakota cruised off the west coast of the United States through August 1908. On 24 August, she departed San Francisco f
... Moreor a cruise to Samoa and headed eastward in September to operate in Central and South American waters. In the autumn of 1909, she deployed westward with the Armored Cruiser Squadron. The force called at ports in the Admiralty Islands, the Philippines, Japan, and China, before returning to Honolulu on 31 January 1910.
In February, South Dakota joined Tennessee to form a Special Service Squadron which cruised off the Atlantic coast of South America and then returned to the Pacific late in the year.
Following operations along the Pacific coast during much of 1911, South Dakota began a cruise in December with the Armored Cruiser Squadron which took her from California to the Hawaiian Islands, the Marianas, the Philippines, and Japan. After returning to the west coast in August 1912, she participated in periodic squadron exercises until she was placed in reserve on 30 December 1913 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard.
Detached from the Reserve Force, Pacific Fleet on 17 April 1914, South Dakota made a cruise southward into Mexican waters in June and another westward to the Hawaiian Islands in August. She returned to Bremerton on 14 September and reverted to reserve status on 28 September. She was the flagship of the Reserve Force, Pacific Fleet, from 21 January 1915 until relieved by the protected cruiser Milwaukee on 5 February 1916. She remained in reduced commission through 1916, and on 5 April 1917 she was again placed in full commission.
World War I
Transferred to the Atlantic after the United States entered World War I, South Dakota departed Bremerton on 12 April. She joined sister ships Pittsburgh, Pueblo, and Frederick at Colón, Panama, on 29 May; thence proceeded to the South Atlantic for patrol duty operating from Brazilian ports. On 2 November 1918, she escorted troop convoys from the east coast to the mid-Atlantic rendezvous point where British cruisers joined the convoy. Following the Armistice, South Dakota made two voyages from Brest, France, to New York, returning troops to the U.S.
In the summer of 1919, South Dakota was ordered back to the Pacific to serve as flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, arriving at Manila on 27 October. South Dakota was renamed Huron---in order to free up her original name for use with the projected South Dakota-class USS South Dakota (BB-49)---on 7 June 1920 and was designated CA-9 on 17 July 1920. She served in the Asiatic Fleet for the next seven years, operating in Philippine waters during the winter and out of Shanghai and Chefoo during the summer.
Ordered home, Huron departed Manila on 31 December 1926 and arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 3 March 1927. She was decommissioned on 17 June and remained in reserve until she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 November 1929. She was sold on 11 February 1930 for scrapping in accordance with the London Naval Treaty.
Huron was stripped down to the waterline and then sold to the Powell River Company, Ltd. In August 1931, the ship was towed to Powell River, British Columbia, Canada, to serve as a floating breakwater for a large logging mill. She was preceded the previous year by the former cruiser Charleston. Huron was anchored into position and rainwater was periodically pumped out to ensure she remained afloat. On 18 February 1961, a storm flooded the hulk of the old cruiser, and she sank in 80 ft (24 m) of water, where she remains to this day. Coincidentally, some of the iron for her hull came from Texada Island, merely 5 mi (4.3 nmi; 8.0 km) from her Powell River resting place.  Hide