american Us Navy - United States Navy USS Laffey (DD-459) (+1942)
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general
nationality american
purpose war
type destroyer
subtype/class Benson class destroyer
Benson class destroyer Barton USS (DD-599) (+1942)
propulsion steam
date built 1941
status
live live
details
weight (tons) 1620  grt
dimensions 106 x 11 x 3.6 m
material steel
engine 50,000 SHP; 2 Westinghouse Geared turbines, 2 screws
armament 4 x 5"/38AA, 6 x 0.5" MG, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
power 50000  shaft horsepower  [*]
speed 35  knots
about the loss
cause lost naval battle
date lost 13/11/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.59rank: 581
about people
builder
Bethlehem Fairfield Shipbuilding Corp. Ltd. - Bethlehem Steel, Fairfield
engine by
Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., Essington
owner
Us Navy - United States Navy
captain Hank, William E. Lt. Cdr
no. of crew 247
about the wreck
depth (m.)
orientation
position on seabed upright
visibility very bad
sea bed mud
marine life average
protected
war grave yes
references
references
  destroyerhistory.o..
updates
entered by Allen Tony
entered 14/06/2008
last update Shortridge Ollie
last update 13/06/2014


[*] means that the value was inherited from Barton USS (DD-599) (+1942), the reference for Benson class destroyer.
 
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  History  
 
Allen Tony14/06/2008USS Laffey (DD-459) was a Benson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Bartlett Laffey. Laffey was laid down 13 January 1941 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company, San Francisco, California; launched 30 October 1941; sponsored by Miss Eleanor G. Forgerty, granddaughter of Seaman Laffey; and commissioned 31 March 1942, Lieutenant Commander William E. Hank in command.

Laffey saw her first fleet action in the Battle of Cape Esperance (also known as the Second Battle of Savo Island) on 11 and 12 October 1942. The destroyer operated with Admiral Norman Scott´s cruiser group, guarding against enemy attempts to reinforce Guadalcanal. On 11 October, when the group formed into single column, Laffey joined two other destroyers in the van. About an hour later sailors ran to their battle stations, steel doors clanged shut, and all made ready for battle. When the engagement began, Laffey raked the Aoba with three of her 5-inch guns. The furious gunfire roared on through the night. At dawn, destroyer Duncan (DD-485) was sinking, destroyer Farenholt (DD-491) was badly damaged, and cruiser Boise (CL-47), though hard hit, had weathered several powerful blows. On the other hand, the Japanese losses were even greater. Cruiser Furutaka was sinking, cruiser Aoba was badly damaged, and destroyer Fubuki had sunk. After the Battle, Laffey rendezvoused with a group of escorting transports from Noumea on the 11th November and sailed to Lunga Point, arining the next day.

The disembarking operations were interrupted by a heavy air attack. On Friday 13 November 1942 Laffey was placed in the van of a column of eight destroyers and five cruisers under Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan. Early in the mid-watch the radar operator reported contact with the enemy. The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was just about to begin when the Japanese force, a group of two battleships, one light cruiser and 14 destroyers, under Vice-Admiral Hiroaki Abe, appeared on the horizon. Laffey lashed out at the enemy with gunfire and torpedoes. At the height of the violent battle, the Japanese battleship Hiei came through the darkness and both ships headed at full speed for the same spot. They missed colliding by 20 feet. The Laffey unleashed her torpedoes and, using all her firepower, raked the battleship’s bridge, wounding Admiral Abe. With a battleship on her stern, a second on her port beam, and two destroyers on her port bow, Laffey fought the Japanese ships with the three remaining main battery guns in a no-quarter duel at point-blank range. She was hit by a 14-inch shell from the Hiei. Then a torpedo in her fantail put Laffey out of action. As the order to abandon ship was passed, a violent explosion ripped the destroyer apart and she sank immediately with heavy loss of lives. Laffey was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her performance in the South Pacific and three battle stars for World War II service.

Lettens Jan29/06/2010THE NAVAL BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL

November 12th, 1944

TF 67 (Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner) unloading troops in Lunga Roads, Guadalcanal, under the protection of air and surface forces, is attacked by Japanese land attack planes. Heavy cruiser San Francisco (CA-38) is damaged when hit by a crashing bomber. Destroyer Buchanan (DD-484) is hit by friendly fire.

November 13th, 1944

TG 67.4, comprising two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and eight destroyers (Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan) encounters Japanese Bombardment Force (Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki) that includes two battleships, steaming to bombard Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, shortly after midnight on 12 November. ...

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ref. used: 
 Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII


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About Owners
 
Us Navy - United States Navy

John Paul Jones - An American Naval Hero and known as father of the American Navy.

John Paul was born in a gardener's cottage in Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. He went to sea as a youth and was a merchant shipmaster by the age of twenty-one. After killing a mutinous sailor at Tobago he added 'Jones' to his name and began a new life in America. He volunteered early in the War of Independence to serve in his adopted country's infant navy, and managed to obtain a lieutenant's commission in the Continental Navy.

He took the war to the enemy's homeland with daring raids along the British coast and the famous victory of the BONHOMME RICHARD over the HMS SERAPIS. After the BONHOMME RICHARD began taking on water and fires broke out on board, the British commander asked Jones if he had struck his flag. Jones replied, "I have not yet begun to fight!" In the end, it was the British commander who surrendered. Jones is now remembered for his indomitable will, his unwillingness to consider surrender when the slightest hope of victory still burned.

In 1781 he returned to America and Congress passed a vote of thanks to him for the way he had sustained the honour of the American fleet and in 1787 awarded him a gold medal. He also received a gold sword and the Order of Military Merit from Louis XVI.

Throughout his naval career Jones promoted professional standards and training. He spent the remaining years of the war advising on the establishment of the navy and the training of naval officers.

In 1792 Jones was appointed U.S. Consul to Algiers, but in July of that year he died before the commission arrived. He was buried in Paris and his body lay in an alcohol filled coffin in an unmarked grave for over a century. In 1905 his remains were found and taken to the United States where, in 1913, they were finally laid to rest in a marble sarcophagus in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel at Annapolis, Maryland

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About Builders
 Bethlehem Fairfield Shipbuilding Corp. Ltd. - Bethlehem Steel, Fairfield
Bethlehem Steel Corporation's shipbuilding division was created in 1905 when it acquired the San Francisco shipyard Union Iron Works in 1905.
In 1917 it was incorporated as Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation , Limited, otherwise known as BethShip.

Headquarters were in Quincy , Massachusetts after acquiring Fore River Shipyard in 1913 and later in Sparrows Point, Maryland in 1964.



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  History  
 
Lettens Jan29/06/2010THE NAVAL BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL

November 12th, 1944

TF 67 (Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner) unloading troops in Lunga Roads, Guadalcanal, under the protection of air and surface forces, is attacked by Japanese land attack planes. Heavy cruiser San Francisco (CA-38) is damaged when hit by a crashing bomber. Destroyer Buchanan (DD-484) is hit by friendly fire.

November 13th, 1944

TG 67.4, comprising two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and eight destroyers (Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan) encounters Japanese Bombardment Force (Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki) that includes two battleships, steaming to bombard Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, shortly after midnight on 12 November.

A savage nocturnal naval action ensues. Abe´s force inflicts heavy damage on TG 67.4 before it retires northward.

TF 16 (Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid), formed around carrier Enterprise (CV-6), the last operational fleet carrier in the Pacific, nears the battle area and launches air search and attacks against the enemy.

Light cruiser Atlanta (CL-51), irreparably damaged by Japanese naval gunfire and torpedo as well as by friendly fire from heavy cruiser San Francisco, is scuttled by demolition charges three miles off Lunga Point.

Light cruiser Juneau (CL-52), damaged by gunfire, is torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-26, 10°34´S, 161°44´E, as Juneau retires toward Espiritu Santo. Loss of life is heavy.

Also sunk are destroyers Cushing (DD-376) and Monssen (DD-435) to gunfire, Laffey (DD-459) to gunfire and torpedo, and Barton (DD-599) to two torpedoes.

Heavy cruiser Portland (CA-33) suffers torpedo damage. San Francisco, light cruiser Helena (CL-50), and destroyer Aaron Ward (DD-483) are damaged by gunfire.

The Japanese, however, do not emerge from the brutal nocturnal slugfest unscathed. Battleship Hiei, damaged by gunfire from heavy cruisers Portland and San Francisco and destroyers Cushing, Laffey, and O´Bannon, is sunk by TBFs (VT 8) from carrier Enterprise and USMC SBDs (VMSB 142) and TBFs (VMSB 131) from Henderson Field.

Destroyer Akatsuki is sunk by San Francisco and Atlanta gunfire near Savo Island, 09°17´S, 159°56´E.

Destroyer Yudachi, damaged by gunfire, is sunk by Portland southeast of Savo Island, 09°14´S, 159°52´E.

Japanese destroyers Murasame, Ikazuchi, and Amatsukaze are damaged by gunfire. Destroyer Yukikaze is damaged by aircraft, off Guadalcanal.

Destroyer Michisio is also damaged by aircraft off Shortland Island, Solomons.

Heavy cruisers Suzuya and Maya approach Guadalcanal to shell Henderson Field, intending to render it inoperable the following morning.

November 14th, 1944

Bombardment of Henderson Field by heavy cruisers Suzuya and Maya fails to achieve the desired effect, prompting the postponement of the landing of troops from the 11 transports poised to proceed down the "Slot" toward Guadalcanal.

Japanese heavy cruisers Chokai and Kinugasa, light cruiser Isuzu and two destroyers (Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi) and heavy cruisers Maya and Suzuya, light cruiser Tenryu and four destroyers (Rear Admiral Nishimura Shoji), come under attack by planes from carrier Enterprise (CV-6) and from Henderson Field:

Kinugasa is sunk by USMC SBDs (VMSB 132), 15 nautical miles northwest of Rendova Island, 08°45´S, 157°00´E. Maya (crashed by a crippled VB 10 SBD) and Isuzu are damaged south of New Georgia Island. Chokai, Tenryu, and destroyer Ayanami are also damaged.

That afternoon, USMC and Navy land-based SBDs and TBFs bomb Japanese convoy off Guadalcanal, sinking transports/cargo ships Arizona Maru and Canberra Maru and merchant transport/cargo ships Brisbane Maru (VS 10, VMSB 141); Kumagawa Maru (VMSB 130), Nagara Maru (VT 10), Nako Maru; and Shinano Maru (CVG 41). Cargo ship Sado Maru is damaged.

Beginning shortly before midnight, TF 64 (Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr.), comprising battleships Washington (BB-56) and South Dakota (BB-57) and four destroyers, engages a Japanese naval force comprising a battleship, a light cruiser, and six destroyers (Vice Admiral Kondo Nobutake). Japanese gunfire sinks destroyers Preston (DD-379) (by light cruiser Nagara) and Walke (DD-416).

November 15th, 1942

The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal ends as TF 64 repulses Vice Admiral Kondo´s force. Battleship South Dakota (BB-57) is damaged by gunfire of Japanese battleship Kirishima and heavy cruisers Atago and Takao. Destroyer Benham (DD-397), damaged by torpedo, is scuttled by destroyer Gwin (DD-433) in Savo Sound, Solomons. Gwin is damaged by gunfire.

Gunfire from Admiral Lee´s flagship, battleship Washington (BB-56), sinks Kirishima and destroyer Ayanami southeast of Savo Island.

Navy SBDs (VS 10) and TBFs (VT 10), USMC SBDs (VMSB 132), Marine and Army coast artillery, and gunfire from destroyer Meade (DD-602) sink four Japanese merchant transport/cargo ships off the northern coast of Guadalcanal: Kinugasa Maru, Hirokawa Maru, Yamazuki Maru, and Yamaura Maru.

USS Meade rescues survivors from sunken destroyers Walke (DD-416) and Preston (DD-379)

Although the United States suffers the greater loss in warships in the savagely fought series of engagements on 12-15 November, the Japanese withdraw and never again send large naval forces into the waters around Guadalcanal; the ultimate outcome of the struggle for that island is decided.
ref. used: 
 Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII
 
 
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