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USS Laffey returns to Patriots Point

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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

More than two years and millions of dollars later, "The ship that would not die" has come back home to Patriots Point.

On Wednesday morning, crews towed the U.S.S. Laffey from North Charleston, under the Ravenel Bridge and to its new berth at the Naval and Maritime Museum.

"We've been waiting for this day for quite a number of years now. I'm looking forward to having the Laffey back," says Bob Wampler who was a radioman aboard the USS Laffey from 1962 to 1965."It's just wonderful to have her back after all these years."

The World War II destroyer has been at Shipyard Creek getting a complete overhaul of its hull.

Last November, Patriots Point approved a three-part project to bring the ship back, relocate the American sub the U.S.S Clamagore and complete restoration and maintenance of the Yorktown.

The history behind the Laffey has many excited for her return.

"They were built quick and built cheap for World War II," said Mac Burdette, executive director at Patriots Point. "This was in service all the way through Vietnam, and she not only served in the Pacific in World War II, but she actually participated in the Normandy invasion, she took out two German bunkers sailing close to the coast of Normandy, so she's really unusual in that regard. She's cool."

"The ship was a very historic vessel, sustained severe damage at the Battle of Okinowa in April of 1945," Wampler said. "It's a piece of history, it's the only one of its class that's alive."

The repairs to the Laffey cost about $9 million.

The LAffey is known as "The ship that would not die" because she didn't sink despite Japanese bombs and kamikaze attacks during the war.


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