Historic warship returned to Patriots Point


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- "The Ship That Would Not Die" came home on Wednesday morning.

The World War II destroyer Laffey returned to a berth at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum on Charleston Harbor after being removed from a dry dock in North Charleston.{} The vessel was moved to the dry dock so its hull could be repaired at a cost of about $9 million.

It now sits adjacent to the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown at the museum.

In November 2011, the Patriots Point Development Authority Board approved a three-part project to return the USS Laffey to Patriots Point, relocate the USS Clamagore to a more accessible berth and upgrade/replace aging utilities. {}On Sunday night, Stevens Towing and Salmon Dredging removed a 60-foot section of the pier to allow for the relocation of the submarine and destroyer.{} Following preparations throughout the day on Monday, the Clamagore was eased from her berth and was towed to the Patriots Point South Pier, where she will undergo continued maintenance and restoration.

"The Laffey is such a great historic ship.{} We cannot wait for her to become an asset to our museum once again," PPDA Executive Director Mac Burdette stated.{} 'Some have asked, 'Is it is worth it?' The only answer I can give is: look at the faces of the Laffey crew members when they see her come under the Ravenel Bridge. These guys are heroes who continue to provide an example and inspiration for us all."

The Laffey is known as "The Ship That Would Not Die" because it didn't sink despite Japanese bombs and kamikaze attacks during the war.

* The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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