Destroyer Laffey’s New Lease on Life
The famed World War 2 museum ship in Charleston Harbor whose funding trevails we have been covering lately is sent to drydock for some much needed repairs. Here is the Post and Courier:
Fifteen years after her last big repair job, the Laffey now sits tied up pierside at the former Navy shipyard in North Charleston. The veteran World War II vessel probably will move into dry dock early next week, with repairs set to begin soon afterward…
The buildup to Wednesday’s move was years in the making, after the Laffey suffered long-term exposure and neglect. It sped up this winter when more than 100 leaks appeared in the hull. A last-minute state loan of $9.2 million allowed the Patriots Point Development Authority to get the destroyer its date in the dry dock.
As envisioned, repair crews during the next few months will rebuild the ship’s structural beams and hull-plating on the Laffey’s lower and bottom portions. If all goes well, and with good maintenance, the fix should keep the Laffey shipshape as a museum piece for another 20 years.
Well done to the sponsors and the Vets who battled to keep this ship alive, not unlike the real war in which she battled Japanese Kamikazes and prevailed. I see in the USS Laffey living proof of the value and endurance of small ships in modern war, and hope the Navy struggling with a sinking force structure might rethink their all-battleship navy ideas for some new “tin cans” that can still pack a punch as well as take one.
See video here.