W of Mt. Pleasant on E side of Charleston Harbor, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina


U.S.S. Laffey, Port Bow

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The destroyer USS Laffey (Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer) was built to Bureau of Ships specifications at the Bath Iron Works, Maine, in 1943-1944. The ship served with the United States Navy in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets in World War II and saw later service in the Korean War. The Laffey is the only surviving Sumner-class destroyer. The ship performed convoy escort duty in the Atlantic during May 1944 and afterward assisted with the screening of the Normandy invasion forces and bombardment of Utah beach and the German-held port of Cherbourg. The Laffey moved to the Pacific to join the Fast Carrier Task Force in November 1944. The Laffey supported the amphibious landings at Ormoc Bay and Mindoro and the invasion forces at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. During the World War II invasion of Okinawa Island in April 1945, the Laffey was attacked by Japanese kamikazes and suffered five kamikaze hits, three bomb hits and two near misses. The crew, despite heavy casualties and extensive damage, repulsed the attackers and saved the ship. In comparison, the Laffey outperformed any other destroyer or carrier in this most important campaign and for her efforts received a Presidential Unit Citation. Listed in the National Register April 12, 1983; Designated a National Historic Landmark January 14, 1986. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 1983
Reference number
Areas of significance
Military; Maritime History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Naval facility; Battle site
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1943; 1944

Update Log 

  • August 19, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Corrected "Category" & Imported Photo
  • August 19, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 28, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • July 28, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller

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