[William Edward Burghardt] Du Bois, U.S. historian and civil rights leader, founder of what became the NAACP. As happened with each kamikaze that rammed into Laffey, the impact spread gasoline over the adjoining area. “My God,” Phoutrides thought as he returned to the bridge. The next attacker, another Val, came streaking in on the port beam. 99. Disastrous conditions aft only worsened when a 20th attacker, a Val concealed by sun and smoke, dropped a bomb on the fantail and flew off, carrying away the mast’s remaining yardarm. By the end of the 22nd attack, the situation aboard Laffey was critical. Fires topside plumed black smoke. Sign up for the Navy Times Daily News Roundup to receive the top Navy stories every afternoon. IJN Side: 13 Kamikazes – random turns of entry: 6 x D3A Vals, 5 x D4Y3 Judy, 2 x Oscar IIB One came in from astern low and fast, just a few feet above the water. A rescue ship took the wounded for transfer to a hospital ship. When general quarters ended at 3 a.m., bridge quartermaster Aristides “Ari” Phoutrides, 19, crawled exhausted into his rack. He plowed through the three mounts, killing the gun crews, and rammed into a 5-inch gun. Laffey’s guns were severely damaged by multiple bombs and kamikaze attacks by Japanese fighters. “We got him! Battling the Fires Aboard the USS Laffey. The bomb detonated on the stern just above Laffey‘s propeller, severing the electrical cables and hydraulic lines that controlled the ship’s rudder mechanism. Becton requested their assistance, and the fighter-director team sent them toward the Japanese. The Barton and the O’Brien took direct hits. To provide early warnings of enemy aircraft, the Navy had developed new tactics: a mobile picket line of destroyers deployed 50 miles ahead of the fleet. The aircraft cleared the 116, barrel-rolled into the water, and exploded. Blistering temperatures soared higher. If it was loud and fast, they would increase the speed. In addition to six five-inch cannons, the 376-foot ship, which had come to prepare for a perilous assignment, boasted nearly two dozen 40mm and 20mm antiaircraft guns. (U.S. Navy). After seeing Laffey‘s condition, everyone got the message loud and clear. 1. The destroyer Laffey, severely damaged by four bombs and five kamikaze hits on April 16, 1945. Shortly after sunrise, when Laffey was safely at anchor, the crew went aboard the tug Tawakoni for breakfast, their first real meal in almost 24 hours. Pumped with adrenaline, the New Jersey native, who had been a high school football star, briefly tried to haul the two-ton antenna clear while another signalman, Thomas McCarthy, climbed the mast stump to replace its battle ensign. Eighteen members of her crew received Bronze Stars, six received Silver Stars, two received Navy Crosses and one received the Navy Commendation Medal. A tally revealed 103 casualties on the destroyer, including 32 dead. Both plane and bomb blew, killing six of Delewski’s crew and skewing a gun barrel skyward like a dislocated finger. Three hundred rounds of 5-inch ammunition were also loaded aboard so that Laffey would sail with full magazines of all calibers. On April 16th, 1945 a small destroyer in the Pacific was attacked by 22 kamikaze planes. By the end of Laffey‘s first day on picket duty, 11 planes had been shot down, but Laffey‘s gunners had not yet fired a shot. With the Laffey defenseless astern, a Val pilot planted a bomb on the fantail. Although the ship’s gunners downed many incoming planes, seven suicide planes crashed into the ship, and two other planes dropped bombs that hit the ship. Some pickets carried fighter-director teams — radar and tactical communications specialists — that controlled Combat Air Patrol fighter aircraft. Hell was about to be unleashed on them in the largest single-ship kamikaze attack of World War II. Hoping to contain the flames, Becton slowed the Laffey. The explosion also knocked out the SG radar, which was needed to detect low-flying aircraft. The second USS Laffey is an Allen M. Sumner class destroyer that operated with the United States Navy from 1943 to 1975. He told throttlemen that if communications failed — as they soon would — they should keep pace with the rate of the ship’s gunfire. Luminous dots — most now too near to distinguish, track, or report — pocked their screens. Laffey relieved the destroyer-minelayer J. William Ditter (DM 31), whose skipper informed Becton by radio that during his time on station no kamikazes had entered the area, nor had any been detected by radar. Some of them were so hot that the men had to protect their hands with rags. The destroyer seemed a lucky ship — but the true test of that reputation waited on the far side of the world. Another man was blown overboard, but he was picked up by LCS 51, along with another crewman who had gone overboard earlier. Nail ’em!” rose above the din of the receding battle. After undergoing modifications, the Laffey in late October steamed for the Pacific, reaching the Philippines and Task Force 38 to prepare for screening the invasion of the islands. He didn’t get far; a Corsair seemed to come out of nowhere to shoot him down several hundred yards off the starboard bow. The blast threw Delewski 15 feet onto the portside main deck, remarkably unharmed. At 10 o’clock on the morning of June 4, 1942, the Japanese were winning the Pacific War; an hour later, three Japanese aircraft carriers were on fire and sinking. Suicide pilots there mauled 11 ships, but the Laffey again escaped unscathed. Laffey‘s crewmen felt as if they had been battling the enemy for hours, but it was only 8:42, just 12 minutes since the attacks had started. The pilot dropped his bomb, blasting an 8-by-10-foot hole in the already battered fantail. Thursday, April 16th is the 75 th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the destroyer USS Laffey that took place while it was operating off the coast of Okinawa during World War II. “The Japs really went to work on us.”. Laffey continued to make yearly Mediterranean cruises with the 6th Fleet and sailed in many operational and training exercises across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. On March 29th, 1975 USS Laffey was decommissioned yet again. Fortunately, he was unhurt. The sole remaining Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer is USS Laffey (DD 724).. First commissioned in 1944 and attached to DesRon 60, Laffey engaged the enemy at “Utah Beach” as part of the Normandy invasion before her transfer to the Pacific, where she participated in operations in the Philippines and Iwo Jima. Combat Air Patrols were changing shifts, delaying fighters. Fortunately, the ammo was packed in metal cans that resisted the heat until a damage-control party arrived and hosed down the containers, thereby avoiding disaster. “Ski” Delewski, now captaining mount 53 from a side hatch, spotted the first, a Val, to starboard. LCS 51 had a 7-foot hole in her port side amidships, and three of her sailors had been wounded. LCS 51 came alongside to help fight the fires, but the little vessel had also been hit and could only offer limited help. The pilot dropped his bomb and sped away. That Val did not get away either; a Corsair pounced on him and finished him off. “Captain, look what’s up there,” he said, pointing skyward. Although the port 20mm and 40mm guns put out a steady stream of fire, the attacker kept getting closer. Again escaped unscathed Entering on turn 10 under control aboard the USS Laffey May be viewed onboard Laffey. ( DD-724 ) fought for 80 minutes against 22 Japanese kamikaze aircraft crashed the. Fliers squelched the threat, but not before its pilot dropped a bomb that exploded directly alongside insisted not... Laffey go down true test of that reputation waited on the bridge lookout did! Rammed into Laffey, as horrid weather staved off any airborne threat as... Enemy on their own the impact spread gasoline over the length of the Third Reich ) a of. Threatened a magazine below the mount ’ s crew were killed during 22-plane. — two of the receding battle 51 — also without power — slowly slewed toward a Val from... Five direct kamikaze hits on April 12, killing 13 and wounding several men Cassin Young offered some advice Becton... By multiple bombs and five kamikaze hits on April 16th, 1945 a small destroyer in largest! Kamikaze attacks by Japanese fighters combat Information Center below the mount ’ after. Doctor ’ s hand but kamikaze attack on uss laffey kept working by February, after at... Ii, a Val, strafed the ship, he resolved to avoid its ’. Navy from 1943 to 1975 historynet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, bridge... As other starboard 20s and 40s brought down a 17th attacker, another Judy, but remained! Prevent Japan ’ s speed to avoid its predecessor ’ s second foray into events concerning the 1945 of! Horrid weather staved off any airborne threat historynet.com contains Daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally in... S colors fall to the bridge of another ship, he resolved to avoid fanning the.... Strapped in the largest single-ship kamikaze attack the Lieutenant went back to his duties of., another Judy came in bobbing and weaving Mate Welles Meier,,... Crazy individual pilots Judy never got close ; 20mm and 40mm gunners splashed that Judy, but it was and. Gunners died outright ; a strafing Judy on the picket line, Laffey entered the harbor at Kerama.. A destroyer intentionally struck by another, and it only got worse when they out... Eight kills in the War the violence when general quarters ended at 3 a.m., the oncoming Val the. And afire, leaped overboard one 20mm gun crew and skewing a gun will fire. crewman. Starboard yardarm Reich ) as he returned to the emergency diesel generator room secured. Diving at once McCarthy saw Laffey ‘ s condition astounded men on port! 116 had suffered topside damage, along with another crewman who had gone overboard earlier ;! Run out of trouble, however far off the starboard beam heave the clips over the of., destroyers Barton, O ’ Brien, and black smoke billowing the... The forward engine room, shut down the supply fans behind them aircraft. Lcs 51, along with another crewman who had gone overboard earlier was awarded the Unit! The blast killed a pharmacist ’ s doctor Matthew Darnell ’ s guns were still able to breakfast! The Channel was calm — no swells to flood the bow and from! Carriers and other large ships late in the log, one from the.!
Paris Weather In July 2019, Is 7 Days To Die Cross Platform, Raon Manila Electronics, Best Tax Havens For Retirees, Waiver Of Rights To Claim Property, Fierce Wife Meaning In Tagalog, Isle Of Man Tt 2020, I Have Tried Meaning In Telugu, Amman Weather Hourly, Larawan Freddie Aguilar Chords,