Comments About the Return of the USS Laffeyto Patriot Point, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
I enjoyed reading these comments and wanted to share them. These were posted on a chat site, after it was known that the USS Laffey would be returning to Patriots Point...
The USS Laffey fought off 22 kamikazes in 79 minutes of heavy air attacks. Unprecedented in Destroyer Naval Warfare at the time. My dad was a Gun Captain on forward 5 inch gun turret during the battle. Won the bronze star that day. Quiet, reserved, peaceful, and a thankful man. RIP, Dad, your's is the greatest generation.
They sum up her record as "didn't sink despite Japanese bombs and kamikaze attacks during the war"? Come on guys, do a little work sometime. April 16, 1945 during the battle off Okinawa, the Laffey fought off numerous kamikaze attacks. Between 0830 and 0842, Laffey was attacked by 4 Val dive bombers and 2 Judy Dive bombers. 1 Val crashed into Laffey, destroying 2 40mm and 2 20mm gun mounts, killing 3 sailors. Immediately after, 1 Val crashed into a 5 in. gun mount on the stern, setting it on fire. Another Val crashed into the same mount, detonating its powder magazine, killing the gun crew and starting a major fire. Then another Val, attacked on a bomb run from the stern, which missed Laffey, but jammed her rudder. She then took hits from a Val and a Judy on her port side. She spent the next hour or so repelling bombing and strafing attacks. Laffey stayed afloat and kept firing, despite 4 bomb hits, 6 kamikaze hits, several near misses and strafing attacks, which left 32 dead and 71 wounded. We should not forget that kind of heroism and Laffey and her crew deserve a better article!
Ron Phoenix, Arizona
I knew a blue-water black shoe squid who served, (WWII & Korea) on one of these. One can only hope and believe that men of this caliber still serve. Iron men & iron ships.
THOSE WHO REFUSE TO REMEMBER HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT. This hits close to home now. If they won't teach it to your kids/grandkids~teach it yourself~but make sure they know!! God bless our troops and vets~sacrificing themselves and their futures for the hope of freedom in the world.
Worlds Apart Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Any ship that got its own dedicated episode of "Dogfights" on History (or is it Discovery?) Channel deserves recognition and preservation, ESPECIALLY if it survived such a brutal attack.
What this generation doesn't understand is that MANY war machines of WW2 were operated by kids just out of high school or dropped out to fight the good fight, and said machines were commanded by young men fresh out of college. These machines... be it tanks, ships, and especially fighters, bombers, and transports... took the place of these kids mothers, girlfriends, and wives, who did their part in helping construct them at breakneck speed. They were further personified through noseart, pictures of loved ones and pin-ups girls, and kill counts and/or mission counts. And ships...ANY ship...became their home, and for some, their final resting place.
In the case of the Laffey, in the eyes of all who had served on her, she's immortal. She brought those sailors who survived that battle back home and did what no other ship of her class was designed to do. In terms of respect, she ranks right up there with the USS Missouri, (you spoiled rotten young'ns look that up on Wiki), along with all the other Iowa-class battleships.
DAVID L Memphis, Tennessee
The back story on this ship is that it sat by the Yorktown for years until the water ate more than 100 holes in its hull. The ship had to be hauled away for repairs at that point, or be lost. But the museum didn't have the millions needed to repair it, and had to borrow the money, and then began having trouble paying it back. Plus the Navy now requires all ship museums to be free-floating, so the Laffey had to have its birth dug out, which the museum didn't have the money for. None of this was brought out in the story, or how the money problems was solved. Also, the Yorktown itself is in a similar shape, and is estimated it will take $60 million to repair. What about that problem?
Windell Atlanta, Georgia
Sailors belong on ships, ships belong at sea. Haze Gray and underway!! During my 30 yr. Navy career, I served on the following tin cans, USS Damato-DDE871, USS Willard Keith-DD775, USS Beale-DDE-471, USS Bache-DDE-470 and USS Richard E. Byrd-DDG-23.
Milo Talon Omaha, Nebraska
Proceeds from visitor ticket sales pay for the maintenance of these museum ships. So for all of you saying it's tax payer money wasted. You don't know what you are talking about just a bunch of partisan drivel.
Wallacem Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Served 2 1/2 years aboard the USS Wedderburn, another WWII Fletcher Class Destroyer, during Vietnam. Great old ships built to last and fight. She had earned 15 battle stars during her life time.
Gary Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Carry On USS LAFFEY... Carry On!"
Dumb writers. She was at both Normandy and Okinawa. From Wikipedia: At Okinawa Laffey survived despite being badly damaged by four bombs, six kamikaze crashes, and strafing fire that killed 32 and wounded 71. The assistant communications officer — Lt. Frank Manson — asked Captain Becton if he thought they'd have to abandon ship, to which he snapped, "No! I'll never abandon ship as long as a gun will fire." Becton did not hear a nearby lookout softly say, "And if I can find one man to fire it."
FED UP AMERICAN
I honor all that fought in any of our wars an personally think the draft should be brought back so when you're done with high school you go into the military of your choice and serve 2 to 4 yrs and do your college education when your in also. You'll see how fast the youth of this nation become honorable men an women with a educated mind and a great personality.
Thank God she didn't end being sold as scrap metal to China and then resold as cheap garbage at Wal-Mart.
My father served on the USS Portland, (heavy cruiser). He told stories about the battles of Guadalcanal and some of them told of the Laffey. Glad to see she's being accorded due honors. Both ships and the men who served on her deserve it. The Portland with 16 major battle honors has only a small memorial in Portland, Maine. We lose so much of our history, and therefore much of our understanding of what it means and what it has provided. Today's generation has no idea of the what has been sacrificed so they can bad mouth America and those who fought for her and them.
Vets stand proud. Let no one take your honor from you.
krakatoa Salt Lake City, Utah
letsparty852004 New Orleans, Louisiana
Another piece of American Naval history for the younger generations to learn and be thankful for the sacrifices of those that fought on that ship.
Nine million dollars well spent. American jobs restoring an American treasure. We are all richer for it. I want more money spent this way. This we can afford
DilldoTBaggins Burlington, New Jersey
Meanwhile in Philadelphia. The USS OLYMPIA, the ship that fired the first shot in the Spanish American War and arguably launched The American Century (which is over, incidentally), sits near sinking at her berth in the Delaware River. Who will take responsibility? A complete refurbishment/restoration will cost in excess of $50 million, but I think the government should take the ship over, restore her and turn her into a national monument.
Welcome home old girl. THANK YOU FOR MY FREEDOM.
We as AMERICANS need to preserve our history and its symbols lest we forget.
It has been my privilege to walk the decks and visits the spaces of this ship. Some might see it as just an old ship, an inanimate collection of metal and equipment from days past. To those I'd say it's so much more, it's a fitting monument to the brave men who sailed in her and fought one of these...
handsome Joe Cicero, Illinois
I served on DD 850- USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR for four years. Tin Can Sailor now and then - - forever.
Kitty Hawk Romney, West Virginia
Welcome home U.S.S. Laffey. Job well done in the past.
WW2 Vet U.S. Navy
Art Madisonville, Kentucky
My Step-Dad was on the USS Laffey during WW II. He said it was a great ship.
What a great way to honor the memory of the brave men and women who put it all on the line during WWII. How quickly we tend to forget their great sacrifices. Maybe Washington would be footing the bill for things like this rather than spending the money on vacations and theme parties in the white house.
StevenA Ft Wayne, Indiana
Glad they saved her, so much of our history has been lost.
Linda Kent Nashville, Tennessee
Most of our WWII veterans have passed away. It is imperative that we never forget the price Americans paid for our freedom and the comforts that we now enjoy. Any ship, plane or anything else that help keep our freedom deserves preservation at any cost. How are we to know where we are going if we don't remember where we came from? The cost of this war was enormous. Let us all never forget this war and the price paid for it. The Laffey EARNED her right to stay afloat as well as respect that her crew earned. I think the song Bob Hope is famous for applies here. Thanks For The Memories. WE SALUTE YOU LAFFEY AND CREW.
Great to see something Historical Respected and Revived! My dad's ship USS Augusta CA-31, is now in everyone's medicine cabinet as "Razor Blades" after being scrapped! Was Truman's ride to the N/Atlantic talks! And Flagship at Normandy! RIP Augusta and DAD who passed last year at 88 yrs, young. Oh, the stories he told!!
DonA Cambridge, Massachusetts
She is a symbol of Americas resolve, and manufacturing might, during the Second World War and is a great weapon in the arsenal of democracy, and should, like its counterparts, from that era, have an honored place for its service... so that future generations can actually see living history...
Zeke West Harrison, New York
I was disappointed it wasn't there when I visited last April. I guess it is just the reason I needed to go back to visit Charleston. This ship was well worth the money to repair. People say it is a waste, but if we don't remember the past we are doomed to repeat it.
When you read the combat action reports of USS Laffey DD-724 it is incredible, Named for USS Laffey DD-459 which was lost off Guadalcanal during a point blank gun duel with Japanese battleships and cruisers, on April 16, 1945, the destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) got crashed by six kamikaze planes and hit by four bombs dropped by two other Japanese aircraft. Laffey managed to stay afloat despite fires, inoperable guns, and a jammed rudder, but 32 men died and 71 men were wounded in the attacks in which Laffey fought for 80 minutes against 22 Japanese kamikaze planes and conventional bombers. The Captain and his crew fought their ship with incredible courage.
Everyone Panic Richmond, Virginia
Sadly the Museum seems to dislike Non US Navy Ships. They have ditched USCGC Ingham, the most decorated ship in the US Coast Guard History, and the only ship afloat that sank a German U-boat, The USCGC Cherokee, and a few other US Coast Guard Ships, The SS Savannah the only Nuclear Cargo Ship, and who knows what else they have jettisoned over the years. Even the Poor old Yorktown is rusting out horribly. I am glad though the Laffey is saved.
COOL! Every carrier needs a destroyer escort ;)
Don New Braunfels, Texas
WW2, fought mainly by boy sailors, marines and soldiers, and the young women who served in other areas of that war, as nurses and such, enduring great suffering and standing tall, everyone of them. I saw the history channel episode on the Laffey, tough old girl and manned by tougher men. She didn't give up and neither did they. She like her crew are well deserved of a special spot in our history. We are so blessed to have that tradition carried on by the brave men and women in our military today. Being a vet myself, I salute them all... Carry on!...
one of interest
My Dad was on the Sumner Class Destroyer the Zellars 777 during Korea at Inchon. Zellars also served in WWII and was hit by a Japanese Kamikaze but was fixed and went back out to serve.
Then went on to be re fitted and fought during Viet Nam. Oddly sold to the Iranian Navy in the early 90's.... they probably made her into a sub marine of sorts.
Vote for AMERICA New Hartford, New York
If you haven't seen pictures of this ship after it was hit it looked like a floating junkyard. everyone that was aboard that day and especially the damage control section should have received at least a navy cross for bringing it home.
Tim San Antonio, Texas
It's easy to think of World War II in the Pacific as The Navy's war, but almost 2000 ships were sunk in the Atlantic by the German U-boat threat.... In the words of the `Ol Man, "Son, In the Battle of the Atlantic you had your lambs, your Wolves and your sheep dogs. Your `Ol Man was a lamb... "Lambs being Tramp Steamers, Wolves being submarines and Sheep Dogs being Royal Canadian Corvettes."
This ship serves as a memorial to those who served then and now. We should never forget or fail to appreciate those who are in service to protect our nations people and its assets. Put aside political beliefs and remember the brave souls who gave their all and many their lives for us to be safe and free.
My dad was on the Hancock, she was hit by a kamikaze and he was injured, he said that watching a plane diving at you intent on hitting you was a scary thing, all you could do was hope the AA would shoot the thing down before it hit. This destroyer was blasted by a bunch of them, and survived when it probably shouldn't have---we would have lost lots of ships invading Japan, thank god for the bombs that ended the war!
wanna go Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
If I am not mistaken the USS Laffey played a pivotal role in our complete victory over the Japs at the battle of midway. A small destroyer group led by the Laffey and its truly intrepid captain were part of a ruse by Nimitz to cover an aircraft carrier groups re-positioning and stop any attempted flanking attack by the enemy. They were not expected to see any action, however, the Japs thought they could finish the plan for Pearl Harbor and get our carriers so they sent in a full carrier group. Understand, the Laffey, a destroyer, was the biggest ship in this particular American group. They took on kamikazes, cruiser and even battleships and beat 'em, (actually, they just caused them to withdraw like the cowards they were). Nimitz was able to completely wipe out the enemy's carriers-all of them. Were it not for the truly heroic efforts of the little destroyer group the Japs would have wiped out our carriers and we would all be eating sushi or some other Japanese cuisine.
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