The Ship That Would Not Die returned to its maritime museum home on Charleston Harbor on the South Carolina coast on Wednesday. The World War II destroyer USS Laffey was seen moving down the Cooper River just after sunrise, as it was being towed to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, according to The Associated Press.
More than two years ago, the Laffey was moved to a dry dock so that some $9 million repairs could be done on its hull. The Laffy received warm welcome from approximately 50 people, including more than a dozen former crew members, The AP reported. They were gathered on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, another World War II vessel.
This means a lot of years of fighting to get her saved again, Sonny Walker of Abington, Md., who served on the Laffey in the early 1960s, told The AP. This is the third time. The Germans tried to sink her. The Japanese tried to sink her and then she tried to sink herself sitting here. She's whipped them all and she's back again.
'The Ship That Would Not Die'
The Laffey got its nickname The Ship That Would Not Die while on picket duty off Okinawa in March 1945, when some 50 Japanese planes attacks, half getting through to the ship. The ship was hit by four bombs and five kamikaze plane and there were 103 casualties, according to The AP.
The Ship That Would Not Die was built at Maine's Bath Iron Works in 1943 and is the only surviving American World War II destroyer to see action in the Atlantic. It was part of the D-Day invasion and is now designated a national historic landmark. The Laffey was decommissioned in 1975 and brought to Patriots Point in 1981.
A state loan paid for the ship's renovation. The AP reported that the museum plans to repay the loan with operating revenues.