History Channel "Dogfights"
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Of course because of my last name, I have been interested in the history of the
USS Laffey. I watched the computer-generated re-creation of the
attacks near Okinawa in April 1945 on the History Channel. The detail was
amazing. I already have the book "The Ship That Wouldn't Die" but I definitely
want to purchase the DVD. This is my first visit
to the Association Website and was pleasantly surprised by the extent and
comprehensiveness of the information and following of the ship.
WOW! A remarkable tribute to
the men who fought so bravely on Radar Picket Station #1. Outstanding job!
CTTC (SW) Louis F Cerasani Jr.
I saw Mr. Walker
on the History Channel show about the WW II kamikaze actions against the USS
Laffey. I am the author of the recently published book "Combat Loaded: Across
the Pacific on the USS Tate." While the existing literature does a good job
of describing the actions of the Laffey on April 16, 1945, it does not mention
what the larger implications of those actions were. During the time when the
Laffey was under attack, just over the horizon to the south a whole squadron
of amphibious transports (including the Tate) packed with troops, ammo and
fuel was landing the 77th Infantry Division on Ie Shima. You don't hear much
about Ie Shima, because it was an operation executed with great speed and
precision and was all over in a few days, giving the US control of the then
largest airfield in Asia. In my book I give most of the credit for this
operations success in its initial phases to the destroyers who were taking it
on the chin while the infantry was clawing its way ashore--not far away. The
main reason the Laffey was at Radar Picket Station #1 was to provide a screen
for the transports operating west of Okinawa. Oddly, when this same Transport
Squadron left for Saipan it was accompanied by the battered and charred Laffey
before she returned to Seattle. The men on those transports knew what the
historians have often failed to realize, that it was but for the Grace of God
and the tin can sailors on picket duty, that they escaped a similar fate. I
thought you and your fellow Laffey shipmates might find this information of
interest. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them.
Attached are the links for "Combat Loaded"
I recently saw a program on the on the History Channel about the
Laffey in WWII. It's hard to believe that the DD
could take so much and still fight the battle. I will always admire the
U.S.S. Laffey and her crew.
Russel T. Norton
I watched Dogfights on TV. I have seen the battle that was
fought by this valiant ship and its incredible crew. I salute all the men that
fought in that battle and thank them for the freedom that they
fought for in my behalf and the behalf of all free peoples of the world.
Regarding the History Channel's airing of Dogfight Kamikaze and
the Laffey, I just wanted to comment that as a the daughter of surviving ship's
crewmember, George "Lucky" Weissinger, it gave me chills to actually see the
re-enactment of what my Dad and all the Laffey crew endured that fateful day. We
happened to be at a family reunion that evening, but gathered around the TV to
watch, even third generation of great grandchildren
were in awe of the Laffey, her crew and the brave pilots who came to her rescue.
It was a somber but proud group. I am happy to say we still have our Dad with us
at 86 years old and God Bless all the men and their families who served and
fought to give us freedom and life at all costs.
Linda Weissinger Atkins
I recently saw the TV show "Dog
Fights", which gave an
detailed account of your ship's courageous battle on
the 16th of April, 1945.
First let me express my gratitude and respect to you and all your shipmates for the courage they displayed under those incredibly difficult circumstances. I watched with added personal interest since my father's cousin, my second cousin, Warren H. Chaple was aboard the USS Pringle at Radar Picket Station 14 at that same time. His ship was also under attack, but unfortunately, did not survive the Kamikaze attack and was sunk. My father's cousin was killed when the Kamikaze's bomb exploded and destroyed his position at a 40mm gun.
Yours truly was the Greatest Generation. Thank you for your many sacrifices.
I served aboard the USS Isherwood DD-520. I saw the
Laffey on the History Channel... Wow, what a beating it took and remained
I caught the History Channel's Dogfights episode about
Kamikazes, and the majority of the show was about the USS Laffey. The danger
that the crew faced with courage (and certainly some fear) during the first
Japanese suicide attacks will stand as a testimony to the US Navy and the entire
Until now - I never knew of this story, but will share it with my family and friends.
I have visited Laffey Twice over the years and plan
returning soon. I just watched the Laffey story on the History Channel,
I really admire and respect the young men who endured the
attacks she went through
To all you valiant men who served on the 724 in 1945, I am so proud of you. I saw a piece on the History Channel the other night and couldn't believe the beating you guys took. As I watched the program, I was sure the ship would sink. When it didn't, I had a funny feeling that I had heard the name USS Laffey before.
I told my wife, "You know, I think it was the USS Laffey moored
at Patriot's Point when we were down there." Tonight,
as I confirmed my suspicions with an internet search, I was astounded.
I will return to Patriot's Point and board your
ship with a whole new outlook and feeling of gratitude and respect.
God bless all of you and your shipmates. Thanks
for your service and courage.
Last Friday I watched the History Channel's "Dogfight" program which featured the April 16, 1945 Kamikaze attack on Laffey. I enjoyed it so much I watched it again Sunday night. Ari, Sonny and Al were eloquent!
All I can say is a hearty and grateful "thank you" and "well done" to the brave men who defended our proud ship on that day. You acquitted yourselves with unbelievable bravery, and those of us who benefited from the efforts of you and the whole World War II generation owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude. We will never forget you and we are all so doubly fortunate to have our ship as a permanent memorial to all who proudly served in destroyers.
-Craig Keith USS Laffey 1969-1971
Just saw on the History Channel a program about your ship, the
USS Laffey DD-724. Being a Tin Can sailor
myself, I was aboard the USS Mansfield DD-728 during the Vietnam War, and I
honor the Destroyer sailors of WW2, especially during their sea battles with the
Jap Naval ships.
I must pay a visit to your ship sometime in the future, and tour another sister ship of the Mansfield, as it was my favorite duty station during 10 years active duty.
Also had tours of duty aboard the USS Shangri-La CVA-38 (58-60), USS Point Defiance LSD-3l (1966), USS Roark DE-1053 (72-73).
Milton A. Stephens, SM2, USN---SM1 USNR, (Ret)
I just saw the story of the Laffey's Kamikaze ordeal on the
History Channel show "Dogfights". To all those who have ever served and put
everything on the line to protect democracy from tyranny you have my undying
admiration and thanks. Very few of my generation can comprehend the sacrifices
your generation made for our great country, however I for one know that without
your courage and determination in fighting off fanatical foes our country and
the world at large would be far different. I recently came across an article
listing the veterans of WWII from my hometown, and was amazed to realize that
virtually every able bodied man of that age that I know or knew had served in
one way or another. It makes me very proud to know that the citizens of this
country in a time of dire crisis stood together tall and proud in the face of
unspeakable terror and carnage.
I just saw the TV special on
Dogfights. I was really glad that the History
channel put the Laffey story in the spotlight again. I
thought it was a nice tribute to all hands. Thanks
to all the members who did the interviews and took a part in making the show a
reality. You guys did a great job!
I have been picking through all the great stuff you have on this website for a year. So much so that I almost feel like I know some of you. I knew there was some talk with the folks at the History Channel, but I had no idea this was going to air. I salute everyone from the "Ship that wouldn't Die".
Learning about The USS LAFFEY and
the Patriots that served on her makes me think of all
those that fight for America EVERYDAY.
May God Bless ALL THE PATRIOTS OF AMERICA!
I thank the History Channel for there great education on the history of warfare. That's where I learned about the USS LAFFEY.
Just saw the computerized story of the Kamikaze attack on "Dog
Fights" last night. (July 13, 2007) Did not know about this battle. My heart
goes out to all those brave men. I will make it a point to visit the Laffey
William M. McCulloch
I saw the part of the "Dogfights" episode about the USS Laffey
engagement near Okinawa(?) this past week. I had goose bumps as the action
unfolded. I say a heartfelt "thank you" to the crewmembers of both Laffeys for
their service, courage and sacrifice.
I have been to Patriot's Point many times. Charleston has so
much to offer the history buff. I just saw The History Channel episode of
Dogfights featuring the Laffey's battle off Okinawa. It prodded me to
reacquaint myself with the U.S.S. Laffey. Many thanks to all who served.
E. Gilbert Jordan
Awesome stories of an amazing ship and an heroic & brave crew.
You gentlemen are amazing. Thank you for your service.
I'm watching the USS Laffey on the history channel right now and
I'm pretty amazed.
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