Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Laffey (DD-724)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Laffey (DD-724)

USS Laffey (DD-724) was laid down on 28 June 1943 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works Corp.; launched on 21 November 1943; sponsored by Miss Beatrice F. Laffey, daughter of Seaman Laffey; and commissioned on 8 February 1944, Cmdr. Frederick J. Becton in command.

Upon completion of underway training, USS Laffey (DD-724) visited Washington [D.C.] Navy Yard for a day and departed on 28 February 1944, arriving at Bermuda on 4 March. She returned briefly to Norfolk where she served as school ship, then headed for New York to join the screen of a convoy for England on 14 May. USS Laffey (DD-724) immediately prepared for the invasion of France. On 3 June 1944 she headed for the Normandy beaches escorting tugs, landing craft, and two Dutch gunboats. The group arrived in the assault area, off Utah Beach, Bale de la Siene, France, at dawn on D-Day, 6 June. 

the destroyer departed for Hawaii via the Panama Canal and San Diego, Calif., arriving at Pearl Harbor on 18 September. On 23 October after extensive training, USS Laffey (DD-724) departed for the war zone, proceeding via Eniwetok, mooring at Ulithi 5 November. The same day she joined the screen of Task Force 38, then conducting airstrikes against enemy shipping, aircraft, and airfields in the Philippines. 

After returning briefly to San Pedro Bay, USS Laffey (DD-724) joined the Seventh Fleet, and, during the month of January 1945, screened amphibious ships landing troops in the Lingayen Gulf area of Luzon. Retiring to the Caroline Islands, the destroyer arrived at Ulithi on 27 January. On 5 October 1945 she sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 11 October. USS Laffey (DD-724) operated in Hawaiian waters until 21 May 1946 when she participated in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini, actively engaged in collecting scientific data. Upon completion of the tests she sailed for the west coast via Pearl Harbor arriving at San Diego on 22 August for operations along the west coast.

Returning to Norfolk, the next month she resumed regular operations until 7 August 1959 when USS Laffey (DD-724) deployed with Destroyer Squadron 32 for the Mediterranean. Laffey was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 29 March 1975. Serving as a museum ship, USS Laffey (DD-724) lies moored at Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Mount Pleasant, S.C. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ship was designated as a National Historic Landmark on 14 January 1986.

For a complete history of USS Laffey (DD-724) please see its DANFS page.