USS Laffey – The ship that would not die



 … by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor

The USS Laffey was on picket duty off Okinawa when, during an 80-minute air sea battle, it was attacked by 22 kamikaze planes. Six struck the ship, along with four bombs, killing 26 of the crew, in addition to the 6 in the gun turret, which took a direct hit by one of the planes.

You are about to watch the footage from a camera mounted on that gun, for a point of view perspective. It is a rare treat to see inside the gun turret action of an historic battle like this. And as so often happens, it was in my email when I got back from my two-mile walk on a balmy evening in Atlanta.

I also learned, to my surprise, that the crews in these guns could hand load and fire up to 22 rounds a minute — something on which I would have lost a bet if someone that hooked me to give it a go. We will never forget them.

Author Details
Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. He broke into television work doing Atlanta Public TV programs for variety of American heritage, historical,military, veterans and Intel topics and organizations since 2000. Jim’s only film appearance was in the PBS Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, and he has guest lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon, GA.

He is working to find time now to database his extensive video archive of Americana and interviews filmed during his public TV days so individual topic segments can be key word searched to quickly use in future multi-media projects.

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