USS Laffey DD 459 in World War II



First  USS Laffey (DD 459)

Launched October 30, 1941

Bethlehem Steel San Francisco Yard

Commissioned March 31, 1942

Sunk late in the Sea Battle of November 12 & 13, 1942, off Guadalcanal

Resting in "Iron Bottom Sound" off Guadalcanal.




Pictures of USS Laffey DD 459

DD 459

DD 459

DD 459

DD 459

DD 459


USS LAFFEY DD 459 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her gallant performance in the South Pacific and three battle stars for World War II service.

Presidential Unit Citation

USS Laffey (DD 459)

Southwest Pacific

September 13 - November 15, 1942





The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the




for service as set forth in the following




“For outstanding performance during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Southwest Pacific area, 15 September to 13 November 1942. Braving hostile file to rescue survivors in submarine-infested waters, the LAFFEY, after fighting effectively in the Battle of Cape Esperance, successfully repelled an aerial torpedo attack, and although badly crippled and set afire, inflicted severe damage on Japanese naval units off Savo Island. Eventually succumbing to her wounds after the enemy had fled in defeat, she left behind her an illustrious example of heroic fighting spirit.”


For the President,

/s/ James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy


LCDR William Edwin Hank, Commanding Officer USS Laffey DD 459 Killed in Action


USS Hank DD702

William Edwin Hank

USS Hank DD 702 Named for LCDR Hank

Lieutenant Commander. Hank was reported missing and presumed dead 14 November1942.   USS Hank (DD-702) was named for him.  See Wikipedia for William Edwin Hank and USS Hank (DD-702).


USS Laffey DD 459 in World War II

USS Laffey (DD 459) Newspaper account of action A San Francisco newspaper account of the USS Laffey's (DD459) last battle

Envelope from 1st day in commission USS Laffey DD459
A poem for the DD 459

 459laffey_wilde.pdf  “The USS Laffey DD-459 in World War II: Documents and Photographs 192 Pages

Launching of DD 459 in San Francisco

Photographs of DD 459 in the Pacific Theatre 

Information Page on the 459 including Killed in Action

Frank Baer Various letters written in response to Frank Baer's father who had requested information on his son

Frank Leroy Baer  Information was provided by Skip Reynolds who served on the USS McMorris (DE 1036).  His wife Michele is the niece of Frank Leroy Baer.

George Hoskko letter Frank Leroy Baer: Letter from      A more detailed and formal letter to Frank Baer's parents

DD 459 on Military Factor

Battle Report DD 459 Destroyer History Foundation

Personal Written Letters on DD 459
Epistle from Captain Sterrett on Laffey 459
   D,S. Sterrett, as Ensign aboard the USS Laffey 459
   Two Letters from Frank L. Meyskens

Wikipedia USS Laffey D-459

NavSource Naval History Photographic History of the United States Navy DESTROYER ARCHIVE USS LAFFEY (DD-459)  

Photo William Edwin Hank Command Officer USS Laffey DD 459 in World War II

USS Laffey DD 459 Article  


Online Video of USS Laffey DD 459


Link and Length – View 1st 20 Minutes

WW2: Destroyer USS Laffey DD 459/DD 724

56.44 minutes (.00 -“ 20.50 USS Laffey DD459 in 1942

20:50 -“ 56.44 USS Laffey DD724 in 1945)


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