A Remarkable Ship - update
In addition to travel and nature photography, I enjoy photographing nautical subjects, particularly old ships and seaside communities. During our trip to Charleston I visited Patriot's Point, home of the USS LAFFEY (DD-724), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer. She was launched in February 1944 and is the most decorated World War II era destroyer still in existence.
LAFFEY escorted tugs, landing craft and two Dutch gunboats during the D-Day invasion, and operated off France until early July 1944. She returned to the US for an overhaul before being transferred to the Pacific Theater in late August 1944.
In April 1945 while stationed at radar picket one off of Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and kamikazes, and was struck by 5 kamikazes and 3 bombs. Her crew shot down nearly half of the attackers earning the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die". Here is what she faced that day:
Nearly the entire ship is available to walk around and there are interpretive placards in most spaces. It's a humbling experience going through the ship and really makes one appreciate the ultimate sacrifices so many of our brave veterans have made over the years.
Update 4/25. I just finished reading The Ship That Would Not Die by Julian Becton, the LAFFEY's Commanding Officer during World War II. His concluding paragraph is quite poignant:
"White water no longer curls back from LAFFEY's high, proud bow. There are no men at her throttles or on her bridge, and her guns no longer speak. But she is alive with shades and memories of brave deeds and the brave Americans who did them. They are still with her and will be always. It is my hope that those who visit her, most especially the young, will come to know and perhaps be inspired by them."
F. Julian Becton, RADM, USN (Ret.)
Here are a few photographs:
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