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USS LAFFEY Reopens To Public This Sunday

patriotspoint Mar 07, 2012

Following a journey that spanned three years and included a complete hull overhaul, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is excited to announce that reopening of the USS LAFFEY to the general public on Sunday, March 11.

Due to ongoing repairs and improvements to tour routes throughout the ship, the LAFFEY will reopen in phases.  The first phase that will be complete by March 11 will provide public access to the main deck and above, including: the Post Office, Barber Shop, History Channel Theater Room, Repair Locker, Sick Bay, Galley, Captain’s In Port Cabin, Chart Room, Radar Room, Radio Room, Bridge and Pilot House, Cross Torpedo Deck, Aft to Mount 53 and Brow.

Later phases will include the Laffey History Exhibit, DASH Exhibit, 02 Deck, Steam Line, Crew’s Mess, Scullery, IC Shack, Wardroom, 02 Level, CIC Renovation and Torpedo Storage.  It is anticipated that the Laffey will be completely open to the public by mid-April – in time for the LAFFEY Homecoming Ceremony on April 13.

“We are thrilled this historic ship is back at Patriots Point where she belongs,” said Executive Director Mac Burdette.  “It has been a long journey, and we couldn’t have done it without the support from the Patriots Point Development Authority Board, USS Laffey Association and especially, the staff who worked tirelessly to reopen the LAFFEY in a timely and efficient manner, while ensuring the safety of our visitors.  We are grateful for the public’s patience throughout this process and look forward to welcoming everyone back aboard ‘The Ship That Would Not Die.’”

The USS LAFFEY sits in her berth at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

The USS LAFFEY sits in her berth at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

About the USS LAFFEY

The USS LAFFEY was built as an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer by Bath Iron Works in Maine. Commissioned February 8, 1944, LAFFEY supported the D-Day landings at Normandy and participated in the US offensive against Japan. While operating off Okinawa in 1945, LAFFEY was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and kamikaze (suicide) aircraft. Five kamikazes and three bombs struck her, and two bombs scored near misses to kill 31 and wound 71 of the 336-man crew. LAFFEY shot down nearly half of the attacking aircraft and saved the damaged ship. LAFFEY’s heroic crew earned her the nickname: “The Ship That Would Not Die.” LAFFEY, the only surviving Sumner-class destroyer in North America, was added to the Patriots Point fleet in 1981, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.


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5 thoughts on “USS LAFFEY Reopens To Public This Sunday

  1. Joseph Sauls says:

    Retired MMCM, Will any of the engineering spaces be opened as before. Surfside Beach, SC

  2. Roderick A. Morgan, FTCS USNR(ret.) says:

    I am very proud to have served on board Laffey from Dec. 1955 thru July 1958. I have been a member of the Laffey Association since its inception prior to 1981. Was privileged to be aboard her during her voyage from Minelant pier to Patriot’s point in 1981 at which time she took her place as a valuable asset there.
    I have made many lasting friendships during my 30 plus years as a Laffey association member.
    I was blessed with a 28 year Naval Reserve career after Laffey, having served on many different ship types which gave me the opportunity to realize what a historic ship our “Ship that would not die” was.

    God bless those heroes who preceded us, 32 of whom gave their all for our freedom.

  3. art smith says:

    Hi to all Lafey folk’s!! I didn’t serve on the Lafey, but was stationed in Charleston, 3 different times. The last after my ship, the Holland, AS-32, returned from Spain, in late 1966. I am so pleased your ship survived!! Good on all of you!! art smith, xDM1, USNR, from Brooklet, Ga.

  4. I am moving to So Carolina this May 2013 and will be visiting as soon i get moved in I was on board crew member MM 3 forward engine room 1956 – 1958 with Pappy Short made cuba shake down and Med cruise, reupped in 1959
    on Uss Whitehust DE 624 Seattle, wash dis charged 1965. Lived in Wichita ks see you in May 2013

    1. asmith says:

      Hello Donald,

      Thank you for your service. We look forward to your visit!

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