2012-02-03 / Letters

Fabled vessel

To the editor:

I read with interest your article “ Destroyer Going Home,” on page A5 of the Jan. 25 edition.

“The Ship That Would Not Die,” USS Laffey was returned to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston, S.C. after undergoing $9 million in repairs.

The Laffey, DD724, is a 2,200- ton World War II destroyer built at Bath Iron Works and delivered to the Navy in February 1944. She saw action in the Atlantic and participated in the invasion of Normandy.

She was then sent to the Pacific, most notably participating in the battle for Okinawa, where she gained her fame. It was there where she was attacked by no fewer than 20 Kamikazes.

She was struck by seven Kamikazes and additionally received several bomb hits. Thirty- two crew members were killed and 71 wounded as a result of the action.

She is reported to be the most heavily damaged ship to survive World War II. She is testimony to the phrase “Bath Built is Best Built.”

For further fascinating reading go to “Bath Iron Works: The First 100 Years,” a copy of which was given to each BIW employee after it was published in 1987. Also “The Ship that Would Not Die” is available on eBay. It was written by the captain of that heroic vessel.

Robert Turcotte,


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