Allied Warships

USS Laffey (ii) (DD 724)

Destroyer of the Allen M. Sumner class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAllen M. Sumner 
PennantDD 724 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered7 Aug 1942 
Laid down28 Jun 1943 
Launched21 Nov 1943 
Commissioned8 Feb 1944 
End service 
History

The only preserved Allen M. Sumner class destroyer, as well as the only surviving U.S. World War II destroyer that saw action in the Atlantic, USS Laffey acted as an escort for convoys to Great Britain.

On D-Day, the destroyer helped bombard Utah Beach at Normandy.

Sent into the Pacific, Laffey was involved in one of the most famous destroyer-kamikaze duels in the war. Hit several times, racked by explosions and fires, Laffey (Cdr. Frederick Julian Becton) remained afloat because of the valiant efforts of her crew to earn the sobriquet "the ship that would not die." 32 of her crew were lost and remain on duty.

USS Laffey earned five battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for her World War II service and two battle stars for her Korean War service. She was stricken on 1 March 1975. USS Laffey is a National Historic Landmark and is preserved as memorial and berthed at Patriots Point, Charleston, South Carolina.

 

Commands listed for USS Laffey (ii) (DD 724)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Frederick Julian Becton, USN8 Feb 194426 Jun 1945
2Cdr. Odale Dabney Waters, Jr., USN26 Jun 1945

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Notable events involving Laffey (ii) include:


28 Feb 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. Frederick Julian Becton) departed from Washington to undergo her shakedown training at Bermuda.

4 Mar 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. Frederick Julian Becton) arrived at Bermuda.

10 Mar 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) picks up 19 survivors of a US Catalina aircraft that crashed the previous day northwest of Bermuda.

2 Apr 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Boston.

5 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Boston for Norfolk.

9 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Norfolk for New London.

10 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at New London.

11 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from New London bound for New York.

12 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at New York.

14 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from New York bound for England to participate in the Normandy landings.

24 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Greenock, Scotland.

25 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Greenock, Scotland bound for Plymouth, England.

27 May 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Plymouth, England.

3 Jun 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Plymouth, England for the Normandy beaches.

10 Jun 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) returns to Plymouth.

11 Jun 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Plymouth again for the invasion area.

21 Jun 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from the invasion area for Portland, England.

25 Jun 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Portland, England to participate in a bombardment of Cherbourg, France, returning to Portland upon completion of this assignment.

29 Jun 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Portland bound for Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1 Jul 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland.

3 Jul 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Belfast, Northern Ireland to return to the United States.

9 Jul 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Boston.

25 Aug 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Norfolk.

26 Aug 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Norfolk bound for the Pacific.

1 Sep 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) transits the Panama Canal.

10 Sep 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at San Diego, California.

12 Sep 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from San Diego bound for Pearl Harbor.

18 Sep 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

23 Oct 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Pearl Harbor bound for Eniwetok.

30 Oct 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Eniwetok.

31 Oct 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Eniwetok.

5 Nov 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Ulithi. She departed the same day as part of TF 38.

22 Nov 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) returns to Ulithi.

27 Nov 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Ulithi bound for San Pedro Bay, Philippines.

29 Nov 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at San Pedro Bay, Philippines.

6 Dec 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from San Pedro Bay, Philippines bound for Ormoc Bay.

8 Dec 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) returns to San Pedro Bay.

10 Dec 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from San Pedro Bay to patrol in Leyte Gulf.

11 Dec 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) returns to San Pedro Bay.

12 Dec 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed San Pedro Bay to support the landings at Mindoro.

29 Dec 1944
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) returns to San Pedro Bay.

2 Jan 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from San Pedro Bay to participate in the Luzon landings.

22 Jan 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from the Lingayen Gulf bound for Ulithi.

29 Jan 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Ulithi.

10 Feb 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Ulithi with TF 58.

1 Mar 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Guam.

2 Mar 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Ulithi.

21 Mar 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Ulithi to participate in the Okinawa campaign.

16 Apr 1945
While on radar picked duty of Okinawa USS Laffey (Cdr Frederick Julian Becton) is heavily damaged by Japanese kamikaze aircraft in position 27°16'N, 127°50'E. 32 of her crew were dead and 71 were wounded.

17 Apr 1945
The heavily damaged USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived off Okinawa where emergency repairs are made.

22 Apr 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Okinawa for Saipan.

29 Apr 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Saipan.

1 May 1945
After some more repairs USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Saipan bound for Eniwetok.

4 May 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Eniwetok.

5 May 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Eniwetok bound for Pearl Harbor.

12 May 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

14 May 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. F.J. Beston) departed from Pearl Harbor for Seattle.

24 May 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. Frederick Julian Becton) arrived at Seattle for full repairs at the Todd-Pacific Yard.

6 Sep 1945
With her repairs completed USS Laffey (Cdr Odale Dabney Waters, JR.) departed from Seattle for San Diego.

9 Sep 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. Odale Dabney Waters, Jr.) arrived at San Diego.

11 Sep 1945
USS Laffey (Cdr. Odale Dabney Waters, Jr.) departed from San Diego but in thick fog she collides with the US patrol craft USS PC-815 that sinks. Laffey rescued all but one of the patrol crafts crew before returning to San Diego for repairs.

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


The Ship That Would Not Die

Becton, F. Julian with Joseph Morschauser, III


U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman


United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore


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