Patriots Point Development Authority (PPDA) Executive Director Mac Burdette announced today that plans are moving forward to bring the USS Laffey home to her berth at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum on Wednesday, January 25.
The Laffey will begin her journey at approximately 7 a.m. tomorrow at Shipyard Creek in North Charleston, where she has been berthed since her complete hull overhaul in 2009. She is expected to pass under the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge at approximately 8 a.m. and will make her way to Patriots Point in time for high tide at 9:18 a.m.
In November 2011, the PPDA Board approved a three-part project to return the USS Laffey to Patriots Point, relocate the USS Clamagore to a more accessible berth and upgrade/replace aging utilities.
On Sunday night, Stevens Towing and Salmon Dredging removed a 60-foot section of the pier to allow for the relocation of the submarine and destroyer. Following preparations throughout the day on Monday, the Clamagore eased from her berth and was towed to the Patriots Point South Pier, where she will undergo continued maintenance and restoration.
“The Laffey is such a great historic ship. We cannot wait for her to become an asset to our museum once again,” PPDA Executive Director Mac Burdette stated. “Some have asked, ‘Is it is worth it?’ The only answer I can give is: look at the faces of the Laffey crewmembers when they see her come under the Ravenel Bridge. These guys are heroes who continue to provide an example and inspiration for us all.”
“We are really, really excited that the ship is coming back,” said Sonny Walker, president of the USS Laffey Association. “It’s an emotional time for us because the ship is really a piece of history that should be preserved. We appreciate the hard work of the Patriots Point Development Authority Board, Mac Burdette and his staff – pushing and pushing to bring her home – and can’t wait to get her fixed up and ready for the public.”
The public is invited to watch the return of the Laffey from the parking lot at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. No parking charges tomorrow.