Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum announced Friday that the USS LAFFEY will be closed to the public for the next several days as staff complete final improvements to ‘The Ship That Would Not Die’ in advance of the USS LAFFEY Homecoming Party next weekend.
“We appreciate the public’s patience as we put the final touches on the LAFFEY,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “Our staff is working hard to finalize improvements to the gangway access and railings, as well as interior exhibits. In addition, they’re putting one last coat of paint on several areas to ensure the LAFFEY is sparkling and ready for her ‘public debut’ next week. We expect these final preparations will be complete by next Wednesday.”
The public is invited and encouraged to attend a series of events April 13 – 15 to pay tribute to the USS LAFFEY and the men who served aboard her. The LAFFEY is the most decorated WWII-era destroyer still in existence. Ninety former crewmembers, including several who served during WWII, will be present for this special weekend of programs and events.
Celebrate the Heroes – Friday, April 13: 7 – 10 p.m. The USS LAFFEY and Patriots Point pier will be bustling with activity as Patriots Point hosts a party to celebrate the LAFFEY’s return. This event is free and open to the public and will feature live music and dancing on the pier, special tours of the ship and an opportunity to meet the men who served on the USS LAFFEY. Food, beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase. Parking is $5.
Meet the Heroes — Saturday, April 14: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tour the USS LAFFEY and meet the men who served aboard ‘The Ship That Would Not Die.’ Veterans will be available to share their stories and sign autographs, as well as lead special tours through the ship. This opportunity is free with regular Patriots Point admission. Parking is $5.
Honor the Heroes Ceremony – Sunday, April 15: 1 p.m. On April 15, 1945, the USS LAFFEY survived one of the most – if not the most – concentrated Kamikaze attacks on a single ship. Commemorate the 67th anniversary of this historic attack during an event aboard the ship. The ceremony will feature a performance by a US Marine Corps Band, special remarks from former crewmembers, and the laying of a commemorative wreath. Admission is free between the hours of 12:30 – 2 p.m. Parking is $5.