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Welcome Home To “The Ship That Would Not Die,” USS Laffey DD-724

Waring Hills Jan 25, 2012

Laffey home moored in her new berth next to Yorktown!

World War II destroyer USS Laffey departed her temporary home on Shipyard Creek for her real home at Patriots Point around 7 AM this morning.  Below is a series of images showing her approach and lineup for her new berth.  The morning was cool, crisp and clear, perfect for bringing the famous warship home. Welcome home Laffey, we are excited to have her back where she belongs and now preparations will begin to get her open for the public once again. Stay tuned for updates and the opening celebration we plan to hold!

Laffey under tow beneath the Ravenel Bridge on the way home!


Patriots Point in the distance as Laffey heads home.


Getting closer!


About to make her final turn out of the channel with Charleston in the background.


Laffey on final approach to Patriots Point with the bridge behind her.


About to pass in front of Yorktown's bow, Laffey crew members on flight deck to welcome her back with air horns and cheers!


Just beneath Yorktown's bow, almost there!


This is a photo destroyer and carrier sailors normally hate to see, as the "tin-can" is cut in half by the larger, faster aircraft carrier. Big no no to turn in front of an aircraft carrier.


Rounding the bend for the home stretch!


Laffey beginning to make her correction for lineup to her new berth!


A little right rudder for lineup!


Ready to thread the needle as Laffey approaches the pier opening.


Halfway through the pier opening, almost home!


Laffey clears the pier opening, entering new berth.


Just a few more yards, almost home!


Check out the Laffey's outboard motor! She does the job!


Laffey's mooring lines are pulled in and "The Ship That Would Not Die" is home!


Here is the Post and Courier story by Warren Wise on Laffey’s return.

And here are the photos from Post and Courier!

AP story by Bruce Smith in USA Today on Laffey’s return and in the Washington Post!

WCBD Channel 2 Video and story

Link to more pictures of Laffey from the Channel 4 WCIV news photographer…

Video from Channel 4 News…

WCSC Channel 5 video and story here.

Great video from Mount Pleasant Patch with Laffey Association President Sonny Walker…

Yahoo News article and pictures…

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Day After Laffey's Return

35 thoughts on “Welcome Home To “The Ship That Would Not Die,” USS Laffey DD-724

  1. Frank Conrad says:

    Welcome Home!!

  2. Danny Pendleton says:

    Welcome Home you beautiful Lady!!

  3. J Hudson says:

    Welcome Home! You look as proud and beautiful as ever.

  4. Dale M. Prince says:

    Thanks for all the hard work and Monetary funds that have gone into this Project. I too served on a Sumner Class Destroyer the USS Strong DD-758 70-71. I first came to Patriots Point in 2005, Met President Sonny Walker, John Hudak to name a few that served on this Great Ship cried like a baby as I entered the Laffey so many memories down to the smell of paint and oil as I had remembered one night in 1971 as I left the USS Strong in Barcelona, Spain to return to the United States to be Discharged from the Navy. I since for several years now have been a proud member of the Laffey Association and will continue as long as Gods will permits. Again I salute all concerned and Thanks,

    Sincerely Dale M. Prince

  5. Daniel M. Rutherford says:

    Welcome Home!! I served on the USS Allen M. Sumner DD692 from 1958-1961. This brings back many memories, and I definitely am planning on touring the ship in March 2012.

  6. Morris Plummer says:

    I also served on a Sumner Class Destroyer, the Uss Purdy, DD734. I can’t wait for Spring or Summer so I can bring my wife down to see Laffey. I served between 1951 and 1955. Purdy was the only Destroyer to make 2 World tours during The Korean War. We did it within 23 months.

    So happy to see the Laffey and happy to sse a Sumner Class.

    Morris Plummer

  7. John says:

    Nice to see the ship back in such good condition. Reminds me of another WW2 Polish Destroyer ORP Blyskawica(Lightning),built in England for the Polish Navy in 1937,along with her sister ship ORP Grom(Thunder),sadly lost due to a bomb in the Norway campaign at thew beginning of WW2.
    ORP Blyskawica is now a museum ship too in Gdynia Poland,but is still serving in the Polish Navy.Photoraph below,after end of 2011 refit,in 1942 camouflage:

  8. John says:

    In case anyone is interested,here is the history of ORP Blyskawica,also a ship they could not kill! Courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORP_B%C5%82yskawica

  9. Ron Pulizotto says:

    Welcome Home! Been waiting for Laffey return. I served on a Sumner Class Destroyer, USS Charles S. Sperry-DD697 from 1964-1966. Can’t wait to come aboard and bring my family. It will bring back great memories of a proud time in my life. Thanks goes out to all involved in getting the Laffey refitted and keeping a Sumner Class Destoyer alive for all to see!

    Bravo Zulu

    Ron Pulizotto

  10. Dale M. Prince says:

    Thanks to all who served on these Bouncey Little Ladies.

    Dale Prince

  11. judy adams says:

    This little lady is about my same age, but she is in better shape!!!!! Lets all lift a toast the grand old girl. Thank you men that lost your life to protect mine and my loved ones from the wars you were in. makes me very proud of our people in this country.

  12. CHUCK WESTON says:

    Served on the U.S.S William M. Wood, DD715 during
    the Vietnam War. I am very happy they did not scrap
    this destroyer. Also served on the U.S.S Eaton, DD510,
    which was scraped or sunk.

  13. ProudNavyWife says:

    What a beautiful site! Welcome home lovely lady.

  14. Richard Charshafian says:

    Welcome, After all you’ve seen and done. After all our boys you carried. Thankyou

  15. vincent barressi says:

    welcome home uss laffey.
    i was on uss blue dd744 then on uss shelton dd 790, out of long beach

  16. vincent barressi says:

    welcome home uss laffey.
    i was on uss blue dd744 and shelton dd790
    out of long beach .

  17. Kim Bowman says:

    My dad saw this arrival of “his ship” this morning on television. He called me at work and was so emotional. I just pulled up this site to let him watch it. He was on her during the Korean War for 4 years of his life, 1950-1954. He doesn’t talk about what happened during his time on the water but would love to see her again. He is now 81 and would love to set foot on her again. Anyone know of financial assistance to get him there let me know. Thanks.

    1. Sonny Walker says:

      Kim Bowman, Please get in touch with the USS Laffey Association. We would love to see your Dad come aboard his ship.
      Sonny Walker
      USS Laffey Association

  18. Sonny Walker says:

    We were lucky enough to be on the Yorktown when our Laffey was brought home. There were a lot of tears and laughs. No one could possibly know our feelings on that beautiful morning. Our thanks go out to all who helped bring her home. It is now our duty to keep her looking her best for the visitors. We pledge our lives to her.
    Sonny Walker, President USS Laffey Association

  19. Waring Hills says:

    Thanks Sonny, great to see your crew again and looking forward to our April bash!

  20. George A McMath says:

    I Served aboard DD757 USS Putnam from 1967-68. Would have loved to have been there for the Lady’s return home. Please let me know about the grand re-opening and I’ll be there; also, I’d like info on association membership. I belong to Tin Can Sailors and USS Putnam Association.
    Welcome Home, LAFFEY!!

  21. Jacob says:

    What a beautiful ship. My father served aboard the Massey DD-778, during the Korean war.

  22. Al Wiest says:

    I served aboard Laffey Jan 1970-April 1972. Some of the greatest years of my life.

  23. Frank Laskowski says:

    1/30/2012.I had a great surprise this evening,The LAFFEY DD 724 IS home,Thank GOD.Why it was a surprise to me.Iam Frank LASKOWSKI(SKI)I am a Plank OWNER OF THE LAFFEY.I WELL BE 90 IN 3/30/2012.I was doing some repair on my Kitchen Sink drain,I was on my Back under the Sink when the Phone range,It was going to take me to long to get up to Answer the phone it keept ringing,so i got up very slow you know why.It was my Niece MARCY Dionisio,said her son Tim from Columbus called my NIECE IN youngstown to call me in Girard,Ohio.I got on the Computer,SEEING the LAFFEY come home again,Ijust could not explaine the Felling that went Through my HEART,WHEN i watched the LAFFEY COMEING HOME WHAT A GREAT SIGHT.I weal never for get.I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL WHO TOOK PART IN THIS GREAT JOB.GOD WELLING I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT THE NEXT REUNION.YOUR SHIP MATE Frank LASKOWSKI (SKI)GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

  24. Barry Relinger says:

    Thanks to all of those whose hard work and vision made the return possible. Bravo Zulu. USS Allen M. Sumner DD-692, ’64 – ’65

    1. Dale Prince says:

      Thanks Matthew and Karen, speaking for myself and I know Mr. Walker feels the same as I, its Great Americans like you that made it worth while serving our Nation in Uniform. Thanks again for the comments.

      I have not forgotten you and Karen and have been meaning to get in touch, have had some health problems, but, maybe not to serious. Will contact you soon.

      Love You both and your Patriotism to Our Nation and Veterans.

  25. matthew westbrook says:

    Glad to see the Laffey home again! Karen, my wife, and I first visted the Laffey and the other ships in 2005 and have since been back to Patriots Point 5 times. We had the pleasure to meet Sonny Walker and Dale Prince on one of those trips. Two great AMERICANS! Visting Patriots Point and meeting all the vetrans has been the biggest history lesson that a single ticket could buy. Thanks to all that had a hand in the restoration. We can’t wait to come back out and walk aboard the Laffey again.

  26. Gene McCarthy says:

    Welcome home USS Laffey. I served on the USS Charles S. Sperry DD-697 ’67-’68. Looking forward to a visit.

  27. Bob Hartnett says:

    My ship was the USS English (DD696). On board from Dec 1953-April 1957. Take good care of “LAFFEY” guys. As I understand it, she’s the last one of the Sumner class still afloat. All the rest have gone to “TIN Can” heaven.

  28. Patrick Piper says:

    Served aboard the Laffey ’68-70 as a BT in the forward fireroom and still dream of my adventures above and below her decks as well as the many ports of call. Although I have taken my wife and kids to visit her in the past, seeing her come home like this makes me realize how fortunate all Laffey sailors are to have had the opportunity to serve aboard this historical jewel. Indeed, she will now outlive all of her sailors and continue to serve future generations as a living testament of America’s dedication to world peace. Looking forward to the April bash and walking her hallowed decks again!

  29. SCPO James S. Warren says:

    It is good to see her rebuilt and preserved. I was assigned to the same squadron when she was in Norfolk,va during 1955/1960,I was on the USS Storms DD780 and the Fox DD779 and the Lowry DD770. I went on to serve on 4 more DD’s( Norris,Compton Keppler and DLG /DDG 6/37 Farragut.
    So wecome home Laffey DD724 may you reign forerver!!!!!!

  30. Stephanie Cole says:

    Awesome and intriguing ship and crew:) Thank you all!! We visited in July 2013, loved it. The ship has a personality that s sticks with you. I will visit again and again.

    1. Holly Jackson says:

      Stephanie- we love to hear this!! Thank you for commenting and we hope to see you back real soon!

  31. Alan Cherrick says:

    My family and I were in Charleston several years ago and toured the Yorktown. Unfortunately, the Laffey had not been restore yet and tours were not possible — I took pictures of the exterior of Laffey– I served aboard the USS Blue DD744 (a Sumner 2200 Class Destroyer) in Vietnam 1967 – 1968. The Blue was stricken and then sunk off the coast of California in the mid to late 1970’s. We are going to Savannah and Charleston next month and look forward to touring the Laffey at that time — so very pleased she is back.

    Alan Cherrick YN3

  32. Dave Jones says:

    A wonderful story and tribute to a GREAT ship. I have visited her 3 times over the past few years as
    I have several WW 2 ships, but the visit to this ship becomes emotional. My father helped with the
    building of her in Bath, Maine in 1943-1944, when at the time I was only 3 being born six months
    before Pearl Harbor. Having served in the Navy from 59-65 aboard the USS Mitscher DL2, which
    was also built in Bath (54), the Laffey story hits home. Just the smell aboard her brings tears to
    my eyes. I have read and re-read her story as well shared it with my sons and family members
    Hope to visit again!.

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