Sunday, May 01, 2005
Here is a view of the USS Laffey, a destroyer from WW2 that endured a ferocious suicide attack in 1945 and limped home, alive. Like the Yorktown, the Laffey was named after a prior Laffey that was sunk in 1942 off Savo Island.
These ships were on "picket" duty, meaning that they stood off out front of the main body of the US fleet to meet attacking Japanese airplanes. That must have been a harrowing spot, and they were very brave to go out and meet up with such a heavy burden.
If you want to read more about bravery of our destroyers in WW2, read "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" where a few US destroyers and destroyer escorts steamed out to meet Japanese battleships and heavy cruisers off Leyte Gulf in 1944. In this battle the US captain made this chilling statement to his crew as they attacked the enemy:
"This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can." The captain was killed in the attack, along with many members of his brave crew.
Laffey Charleston South Carolina