Patriot State Employees Fight to Save The Ship That Would Not Die

Rep. James Smith with Paul Jeffers and General Tant

Rep. James Smith with Paul Jeffers and General Tant

The House paused last Wednesday to recognize the heroic efforts of South Carolina State Employees as they work 24/7 to Save the Ship That Would Not Die, USS Laffey (DD 724).  These Patriot State Employees work on the shoulders of and in the same honorable tradition as Laffey’s crews  have done throughout her venerable history.  May she continue to float at Patriot’s Point as a living reminder to all of the courage of our Nation’s tin can sailors who kept her afloat against impossible odds.  South Carolina is grateful for the courage of Patriot’s Point State Employees who fight to keep her afloat today.

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND THE EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF THE MANY STATE WORKERS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE WORKING TIRELESSLY AROUND THE CLOCK TO PRESERVE THE HISTORIC AND GALLANT USS LAFFEY (DD-724) FOR HER SURVIVING VETERANS AND COUNTLESS ADMIRERS.

Whereas, the historic destroyer, USS Laffey (DD-724) supported not only the D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, but also the United States offensive against Japan; and

Whereas, while operating off Okinawa on April 16, 1945, the USS Laffey was attacked by twenty-two Japanese bombers and kamikaze aircraft; and

Whereas, the USS Laffey survived this ferocious onslaught despite suffering direct hits from five of the suicide aircraft and three bombs; and

Whereas, valiantly refusing to abandon their ship, the USS Laffey’s heroic crew shot down eleven of the attacking aircraft and saved the damaged ship, earning her the nickname, “The Ship That Would Not Die;” and

Whereas, the USS Laffey was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and five battle stars for her service during World War II and two additional battle stars during the Korean War; and

Whereas the USS Laffey was added to the Patriots Point fleet in 1981, six years following her second decommissioning; and

Whereas, a different enemy now threatens this venerable and stately ship, namely the corrosive effects of more than twenty-five years of active service at sea protecting our nation’s freedom and more than twenty-five years of additional service as a living memorial to the patriotism, courage, and sacrifices of America’s “Greatest Generation;” and

Whereas, the destroyer Laffey has been under repair since December first when she began taking on water through her rusted hull; and

Whereas, the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina wishes to express its gratitude to the many state workers and dedicated volunteers who are performing the essential and often dangerous repair work to save the USS Laffey. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution recognize and commend the extraordinary efforts of the many state workers and volunteers who are working tirelessly around the clock to preserve the historic and gallant USS Laffey (DD-724) for her surviving veterans and countless admirers.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to

Brigadier General Hugh Tant III, (U.S. Army Ret.), Executive Director, Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.

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