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Laffey as an Artificial Reef

May 19, 2009
USS Laffey DD-724

USS Laffey DD-724

So many noble ships are going to the fishes these days, and now apparently, the “ship that would not die” USS Laffey is headed this way. Keeping you updated on the Patriot’s Point financial woes, here is the Charleston Post and Courier:

Months ago, Laffey Association President Sonny Walker spoke hopefully about saving the destroyer known from World War II as “The Ship That Would Not Die.”When he first learned about the ship’s holes, the 66-year-old Walker drove from his Maryland home straight to Mount Pleasant to meet former shipmates. They likened the trip to visiting an ailing mother. Returning home, the men collected more than $33,000 to put toward repairs and started doing their own research, even tracking down the company that built the Laffey decades ago.

Fast-forward to today, and Walker’s three primary contacts at Patriots Point — Executive Director Hugh Tant III, Media and Public Relations Manager Charlie Hall Jr. and Development Director Doug Bostick — no longer work at the attraction. Walker said his attempts to contact other officials have failed, and he learned from a news report that the Laffey might be destined to become an artificial reef. “I’m telling people, ‘Don’t send money now,’ because we don’t know where it’s going,” he said last week. The association shifted its focus to making sure its members can prepare for Laffey’s final voyage and charter boats in time to watch the ship go down.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced but interesting vacation sight this summer, let me suggest the Patriot’s Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston Harbor, while it is still intact. The Cold War Memorial and the replica of a Vietnam era support base are also fascinating, with a “you were there” feel. Aside from this are the other historical attractions in downtown Charleston, such as the American Military Museum, the Fort Sumter National Monument, the Confederate Museum, Spoleto Arts Festival, carriage rides, and numerous nearby malls if history isn’t your thing (perish the thought!).

Boat rides, carriage rides, museums, excellent dining; the possibilities in Charleston are endless!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 29, 2009 8:17 am

    You’re correct DE! That was careless of me. Fixed now!

  2. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 28, 2009 8:56 pm

    Your picture is of the wrong USS Laffey. That particular DD-459 was sunk after missing a collision with the Imperial Japanese battleship IJNS Heie by about 20 feet! This was during “The Barroom Brawl” or that infamous melee naval battle otherwise known as the “Naval Battle of Guadalcanal” starting on November 12, and lasting through November 15, 1942. That earlier Laffey was holed by at least one 14-inch shell and then struck by a Type 93 Long Lance torpedo. Laffey soon exploded and sank during the battle of the evening of November 13 & 14.

    The USS Laffey at Patriot’s Point is DD-724, the second USN destroyer named for seaman Bartlett Laffey.

  3. Mike Burleson permalink
    May 21, 2009 3:56 pm

    Oh no. That would be too much to hope for West!

  4. west_rhino permalink
    May 21, 2009 12:54 pm

    Geez, all the stimulus dollars about, one would think some might be directed to support a piece of history. One guesses it mightn’t be politically correct enough.

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