Thursday, January 28, 2021

Patriot's Point: USS Laffey

Moored beside the USS Yorktown and dwarfed by her  in size yet packijng a punch of history is the USS Laffey

The USS Laffey, a Sumner class destroyer,  is famously known as "The Ship That Would Not Die".

The Laffey first served in the Atlantic theater, doing convoy escort and supporting the D-Day invasion.

It was at the Battle of Okinawa on April 16, 1945 however that she earned her moniker.  Hit not once by a kamikaze, not twice,  but by six separate kamikaze hits, as well as four bomb hits and an F4U Corsair hitting its radar antenna, all in one day. 

The Laffey crewmen, in the face of insane odds against which other ships would have been surely lost,  saved their ship from the extensive damage from those attacks, with 32 crewmen killed and 71 wounded out of a crew of 336.

The ship was in rough shape when she pulled into port in Seattle after the attack.

Repaired and refurbished, she served on proudly in the Korean War and into the Cold War.

She's the last surviving Sumner class destroyer.

The ship is in good shape and entry on to the ship is near the stern.

Passing cargo ships go by under her guns.

The galley:


The Laffey's torpedo launcher:


The Sumner class was the first class of destroyers to have a combat information center.


The ship is now a national historic landmark

Much of the ship, including the turret interiors, was unfortunately closed off for access to the public due to Covid.

But the exterior of one of her turrets shows her action history well.

While we didn't get to see all of the ship, it was still a good and educational experience to explore what we could of this historic ship.


MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

When we went back in 2013, the Laffey had just come out of Overhaul, and she looked really good. The Patriots Point association did good with her.

Comrade Misfit said...

I'm surprised that she floats. When they had parked her at the Naval Station in the late `70s, everything on her that could be used for repair parts was "midnight requisitioned" by the crews of other ships at the base.

Old NFO said...

She is also haunted.

Aaron said...

MrGarabaldi: They certainly have done a nice job making her a museum ship.

Comrade Misfit: Interesting. I wonder how much would equipment could interchange and work with the newer classes of ships.

Old NFO: No ghosts detected on our walk-through, but we couldn't get to a lot of the ship that the ghosts likely had all to themselves.