USS LAFFEY (DD-724) is the most decorated World War II era US Destroyer still in existence. DD-724 was named in honor of LAFFEY (DD-459), sunk during the Naval Battle for Guadalcanal (13 November 1942). Both ships were named in honor of Seaman Bartlett Laffey, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient.
Check out the timeline below to learn about this destroyer.
The second USS LAFFEY was commissioned and supported the DDay landings at Normandy June 1944
The USS LAFFEY was transferred to the Pacific Theater to join the US offensive against Japan
While operating off Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and Kamikaze killing 32 and wounding 71 of the 336-man crew. The heroic crew shot down 9 Kamikaze aircraft and saved the damaged ship earning her the nickname: “The Ship That Would Not Die.”
Awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and earned five battle stars for service during World War II
Present as a support ship for the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll (Operation Crossroads)
She was part of the longest naval bombardment of the Korean War at Wonsan Harbor in mine-infested waters. She earned two battle stars for her service.
Underwent FRAM II (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization) conversion
Added to Patriots Point fleet
Designated a National Historic Landmark
Upon entering the new CIC exhibit, a dual hologram appears and radar repeaters show a sweeping motion as they “search” for enemy submarines. Radio transmissions recreate one of the many tense moments of this time and guests grow to understand how the USS Laffey served the US Navy during the Cold War.
In the Mount 53 Experience exhibit, take a step back to April 16, 1945 during an historic kamikaze attack on the USS LAFFEY. Witness what it was like for the brave men serving in the gun mount, and learn about how the LAFFEY got her nickname ‘The Ship That Would Not Die.'
|Length:||376 ft 6 in (114.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||60,000 shp (45 MW); 2 propellers|
|Speed:||34 knots (63 km/h)|
|Armament:||(circa 1944) 6 x 5 in./38 guns (12 cm), 12 x 40mm AA guns, 11 x 20mm AA guns, 10 x 21 in. torpedo tubes, 6 x depth charge projectors, 2 x depth charge tracks|