USS LAFFEY Homecoming Celebration at Patriots Point

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Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will celebrate the return of the USS LAFFEY with a series of events April 13 – 15. The public is invited to attend to pay tribute to ‘The Ship That Would Not Die’ – 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.

The events mark the sixty-seventh anniversary of the year that LAFFEY was operating off the Okinawan coast in WWII, when 22 Japanese bombers and kamikaze aircraft attacked her, killing 31 and wounding 71 of her 336-man crew. The brave crew of the LAFFEY shot down 11 attacking aircraft, saving the damaged ship and earning her the nickname “The Ship That Would Not Die.” She was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and five battle stars for service during World War II.

These events are open to the public:

Celebrate The Heroes

Friday, April 13, 7:00p.m.-10:00p.m.

Live music on the pier from The Flashbacks, ship tours, meet USS LAFFEY veterans, food & beer, wine, soft drinks available.

Admission is FREE, food & beverages available for sale. Parking is $5 per vehicle.


Meet The Heroes

Saturday, April 14, 10:00a.m – 3:00p.m.

Tour the USS LAFFEY, meet men who served aboard “The Ship That Would Not Die,” hear their stories, and even get their autographs.

Admission is included with the purchase of a regular Patriots Point ticket. Parking is $5 per vehicle.


Honor The Heroes Ceremony

Sunday, April 15, 1:00p.m.

Commemorate the 67th Anniversary of the 1945 Japanese attack on USS LAFFEY. The US Marine Corps Band will perform, followed by special remarks and laying of the commemorative wreath.

Admission is FREE between 12:30p.m. – 2:00p.m. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

We look forward to seeing you at Patriots Point!

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17 thoughts on “USS LAFFEY Homecoming Celebration at Patriots Point

  1. I’m interested in visiting on Friday April 13.
    My son and I are driving down Thursday from Staten Island NY. Hope to tour on Friday to show my son the area I slept in and the radio central where I worked. I sailed on the Uss Purdy DD734 1952 and 1953.
    Please let me know if all is possible.
    I’m so looking forward to this opportunity.
    God bless all members of the Laffey Association and past and present crew members.

    • Mr. Coltrinari, we are delighted you will be visiting the Laffey. We hope you will be able to join our celebration on Friday evening to officially welcome her home. The ship will be open for tours and we will have live music — and we will have approximately 90 former crewmembers who served joining us for the weekend.

  2. I cannot say enough about the folks at Patriots Point and all of the work they did to save our ship.
    I hope everyone knows the value of these historic vessels.
    They tell the story of the sacrifices made by the crews that manned them and preserved freedom for all of us.
    We are looking forward to meeting everyone at the celebration this weekend.
    Sonny Walker
    USS Laffey Association

  3. I’m an English Photographer in SC over the next week or so visiting family. I’m very interested in coming to the event on Saturday, do you allow photographers?


  4. I am glad that the Laffey is returning to her home. Hats off to Patriot’s Point and all others involved in her repairs. It is important to keep this historic ship alive for future generations.

    Jim Sehy
    Tin Can Sailors
    USS Peterson (DD-969)

  5. LAFFEY is back. I have sent an e-mail to the SECNAV to consider LAFFEY for THIRD ship of THE line following DD-459/DD724. The new DD-1000 Zumwalt is funded and scheduled for build. Static display history meets the future. How much Better could it be. Imagine DD1001, USS Laffey homeported in Charleston!

  6. She looks soooo much better than before the bottom replacement! I was fortunate to have been on her when she was decomissioned. Her journey to become a museum ship is a book unto itself. The festivities last night were super and it was nice to be able to go aboard and feel her spirit. I look forward to eventually returning and tour belowdecks in the messdecks and the I.C.F.C. room!

  7. It thrills me with a soaring sense of pride that the Laffey is alive and well. I send my gratitude for the wealth of hard work and dedication of those responsible at Patriot’s Point.
    MY father, HERSCHEL V. SELLERS, a commander aboard The Laffey would be humbled and full of pride as well with the tremendous effort made for his ship.
    Cmdr. HERSCHEL V. SELLERS passed away in May 2011 at 93 yrs. I can just hear him say, “The USS LAFFEY lives on!”

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