Patriots Point visitors can now virtually travel decades back in time and get a greater understanding of what it was like to be inside the aft 5” 38 caliber gun mount of the destroyer USS LAFFEY. Through an interactive exhibit that opened Monday, October 21st, the experience comes to life, teaching visitors about the gun mount which was destroyed by a kamikaze attack on April 16, 1945, killing six crew members.
“This is the best way to bring the experience of working that gun during an air attack to life,” Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette said. “Our visitors can look at static displays all day and try to imagine the fear and adrenaline rush these young men must have felt; but closing the door, cranking the sound on a video of that time and bringing in the vibrations that came with the an attack where 20 or more 55lb rounds were fired per minute – the scene is practically alive again 68 years later,” he said.
The exhibit is funded by the Tin Can Sailors, a national association of destroyer veterans. Their contribution of $10,000 will provide a new-age education and entertainment level to Patriots Point visitors who can better appreciate what is considered to be one of the best naval guns of WWII. The exhibit is a start to toward the museum master plan and paves the way for where the museum is headed over the next three years.
Check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/patriotspoint.org for photos from the launch of the exhibit. Here are a few for you to enjoy: