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Saving USS Laffey-Update

July 1, 2009

The Scoop Deck gives us the good scoop that the South Carolina government is coming to the rescue of the veteran museum sub in Charleston Harbor:

The state government has agreed to extend a $9.3 million loan to help repair a World War II destroyer in very bad shape…The destroyer Laffey, known in the third paragraph of every news story as “The Ship That Would Not Die,” after it survived murderous waves of attacks at the Battle of Okinawa, has corroded so badly it’s in danger of sinking. But officials at Patriots Point, the Mt. Pleasant, S.C. museum fleet that also includes the carrier Yorktown, couldn’t afford to dry dock the Laffey or the renovations it needs. So, after the museum appealed to state and federal governments for help, South Carolina has secured enough money to start work on the ship.

But these things are never simple: Patriots Point must repay South Carolina taxpayers within a year.

I was told on my last visit to Charleston that “the money was there” for Laffey, but I didn’t know the details until now!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 1, 2009 2:17 pm

    Wonder if SC’s own debtors offer us the same terms? But I am hopeful all will work out. Give the association time to seek leaner terms elsewhere.

  2. Bill permalink
    July 1, 2009 1:09 pm

    Ouch..how on earth will they manage to meet those loan terms?

    Similar sad situation up my way in Baltimore. My grandpa’s last command (last of many), USGC Taney, is in similar bad straits and the group that manages the old girl is losing their battle against the elements, with nothing close to adequate funding on the horizon to save her from the scrapyard. Taney is, I believe, the last ship still existing that was present at Pearl Harbor, where she was one of, if not the, first ship to bring guns to bear on the attacking Japanese planes. But..that kind of historical pedigree (like that of the Laffey) alone never generates enough visitor revenue by itself to pay for maintenance and bootom repairs.

    Tough business, keeping old museum ships mainatined afloat…very tough.

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