The Ship That Would Not Die

USS LAFFEY (DD-724) is the most decorated World War II era US Destroyer still in existence. DD-724 was named in honor of LAFFEY (DD-459), sunk during the Naval Battle for Guadalcanal (13 November 1942). Both ships were named in honor of Seaman Bartlett Laffey, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient.

Check out the timeline below to learn about this destroyer.

  • 1944
    Supporting The Allied Invasion Of Normandy
    February 8, 1944

    The second USS LAFFEY was commissioned and supported the DDay landings at Normandy June 1944

  • 1944
    Off To The Pacific
    September 1944

    The USS LAFFEY was transferred to the Pacific Theater to join the US offensive against Japan

  • 1945
    Under Attack; Heroic Crew Saves Their Ship
    April 16, 1945

    While operating off Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and Kamikaze killing 32 and wounding 71 of the 336-man crew. The heroic crew shot down 9 Kamikaze aircraft and saved the damaged ship earning her the nickname: "The Ship That Would Not Die."

  • 1945
    Honored For Valiant Service During WWII

    Awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and earned five battle stars for service during World War II

  • 1946
    Support For Atomic Bomb Testing

    Present as a support ship for the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll (Operation Crossroads)

  • 1952
    Korean War Heroism

    She was part of the longest naval bombardment of the Korean War at Wonsan Harbor in mine-infested waters. She earned two battle stars for her service.

  • 1962
    Rehab & Modernization

    Underwent FRAM II (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization) conversion

  • 1975
    Proudly Retired


  • 1981
    Joins The Patriots Point Fleet

    Added to Patriots Point fleet

  • 1986
    Taking Its Place In History

    Designated a National Historic Landmark

Combat Information Center

Upon entering the new CIC exhibit, a dual hologram appears and radar repeaters show a sweeping motion as they “search” for enemy submarines. Radio transmissions recreate one of the many tense moments of this time and guests grow to understand how the USS Laffey served the US Navy during the Cold War.

Mount 53

In the Mount 53 Experience exhibit, take a step back to April 16, 1945 during an historic kamikaze attack on the USS LAFFEY. Witness what it was like for the brave men serving in the gun mount, and learn about how the LAFFEY got her nickname 'The Ship That Would Not Die.'

Craft Stats

Silhouette of the USS Laffey
Displacement: 2,200 tons
Length: 376 ft 6 in (114.8 m)
Propulsion: 60,000 shp (45 MW); 2 propellers
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h)
Armament: (circa 1944) 6 x 5 in./38 guns (12 cm), 12 x 40mm AA guns, 11 x 20mm AA guns, 10 x 21 in. torpedo tubes, 6 x depth charge projectors, 2 x depth charge tracks
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