USA. USS Laffey, World War II destroyer, gets ship-shape in time for Veterans Day Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 November 2006
Historical news:


In the spirit of Veterans Day, volunteers from the Hampton® brand’s. Explore the Highway with Hampton Save-A-Landmark® program will pay tribute to all American service men and women on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 as they refurbish a piece of wartime history – the USS Laffey Destroyer, known as “the ship that wouldn’t die.” This prized World War II relic, the only surviving destroyer of its kind today and a National Historic Landmark, is retired at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston Harbor, S.C.

Hampton’s preservation efforts at this treasured American landmark will include extensive preparation work, careful paint application and polishing of World War II artillery in an estimated 75 hours of hard work by 25 volunteers from across South Carolina. The hotel chain will also donate $15,000 enabling Patriots Point to finish a new exhibit on the Laffey showcasing World War II era artifacts and helping to preserve its collection of historic articles.

“War-time landmarks such as the USS Laffey Destroyer are truly a piece of our nation’s history,” said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice-president of brand marketing for Hampton. “Through its preservation, we are working to ensure that future generations can learn from the legacies and sacrifices of all American service men and women.”

After helping to bombard Utah Beach at Normandy in the D-Day landing on June 6, 1944, the Laffey was sent into the Pacific to fight in the battle of Iwo Jima – one of the most famous destroyer-kamikaze duels of World War II. The destroyer was hit several times, racked by explosions and fires, but the valiant efforts of the crew kept the ship afloat. As a result, Laffey earned five battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for its WWII service, and went on to receive two battle stars in the Korean War. The Laffey, the last Allen M. Sumner destroyer remaining today, now rests at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, one of the largest museums commemorating the War.

For those looking for other war-time landmarks in which to commemorate Veterans Day, they can access Hampton’s “Hidden Landmarks” database (www.hamptonlandmarks.com) of more than 1,000 other landmarks, such as:

Rosie the Riveter Memorial, Richmond, Calif.: This site marks the accomplishments and remembers the hardships of the women known as "Rosies," who worked in shipyards during WWII. More than 745 warships were produced at Shipyard No. 2. This is the first national memorial to honor and interpret American women's contributions to the WWII home front.

Iwo Jima Memorial, Newington, Conn.: More than 6,800 brave soldiers gave their lives at the historic battle of Iwo Jima. This statue honors all of them, especially the 100 soldiers from Connecticut.

Motts Military Museum, Columbus, Ohio: This museum preserves the memory of individuals who served in the United States Armed Forces. Each item displayed carries with it a personal story.

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Shipyard, Concord, Calif.: Tragically, Port Chicago is best remembered as the site of a catastrophic explosion on July 17, 1944, that took the lives of 320 servicemen. Five thousand tons of munitions being loaded for transport to the Pacific detonated, launching a tower of fire and smoke two miles into the sky. Today, it is a National Memorial to honor the courage and commitment of service men and women and working civilians killed and injured in the largest homeland disaster during World War II.

Grissom Air Museum, Kokomo, Ind.: Covering aviation history from WWII through the Gulf War, visitors can learn about famous units like WWII’s 305th Bomb Group.

From helping the 80-foot Blue Whale in Catoosa, Okla. to the historical National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Mass., the Hampton brand’s Save-A-Landmark program has spent the past six years preserving historical, fun and cultural landmarks across the U.S. During this time, the program has helped research landmarks in need, promoted landmark sites and their importance, facilitated thousands of volunteer hours, donated hundreds of supplies and worked with matching grants — all at an investment of nearly $2 million. Banding its hotels together in communities across the U.S., Hampton employee-volunteers provide the labor while the Hampton corporate office provides the dollars to refurbish selected sites, sometimes up to five locations per year.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 November 2006 )
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