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USS Laffey (DD-724)


"The Ship That Would Not Die"


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Presidential Unit Citation


Navy Presidential Unit Citation

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 extraordinary heroism in action as a Picket Ship on Radar Picket Station Number One during an attack by approximately thirty enemy Japanese planes, thirty miles northwest of the northern tip of Okinawa, April 16, 1945. Fighting her guns valiantly against waves of hostile suicide planes plunging toward her from all directions, the U.S.S. LAFFEY set up relentless barrages of antiaircraft fire during an extremely heavy and concentrated air attack. Repeatedly finding her targets, she shot down eight enemy planes clear of the ship and damaged six more before they crashed on board. Struck by two bombs, crash-dived by suicide planes and frequently strafed, she withstood the devastating blows unflinchingly and, despite severe damage and heavy casualties, continued to fight effectively until the last plane had been driven off. The courage, superb seamanship and indomitable determination of her officers and men enabled the LAFFEY to defeat the enemy against almost insurmountable odds, and her brilliant performance in this action, reflects the highest credit upon herself and the United States Naval Service.”

For the President,

/s/ James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy


Meritorious Unit Commendation

Mediterranean Sea

Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation


The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in presenting the MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION to

(Units Participating in Contingency Operations in the Eastern Mediterranean)

for service set forth in the following 


"For meritorious service while participating in contingency operations in the Eastern Mediterranean from 9 September to 31 October 1970. As elements of the United States SIXTH Fleet, these units contributed significantly to the effectiveness, mobility, and success of Fleet operations which were vital toward maintaining peace in the Mediterranean area. Through their continuous display of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and professionalism, and their long hours of arduous effort and other personal sacrifices, the officers and men of the SIXTH Fleet units participating in contingency operations in the Eastern Mediterranean reflected great credit upon themselves and their units and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

For the Secretary,

E. R. Zumwalt, Jr.

Admiral, United States Navy
Chief of Naval Operations

Topic Details

American Campaign Service Medal: 08 Mar 1944 1
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Service Medal: 4 Battle Stars 1
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal: 1 Battle Star 1
Korea Service Medal: 2 Battle Stars 2
Meritorious Unit Commendation: 9 September - 31 October 1970 3
National Defense Service Medal (1st Award): 27 June 1950 - 27 July 1954 1
National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award): 1 January 1961 - 14 August 1974 4
Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon: date unknown 1
Navy Battle "E" Ribbon: date unknown 1
Philippine Independence Medal: 04 Jul 1946 1
Philippine Liberation Medal: 2 Bronze Stars 1
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation: 17 October 1944 - 2 September 1945 1
Presidential Unit Citation: Okinawa 1
ROK Presidential Unit Citation: 31 Dec 1969 1
UN Service Medal: Korea 1
WWII Victory Medal: 7 December 1941 - 31 December 1946 1
Battle Honors (Korea):
Korean Defense, Summer-Fall 1952: 1 May-30 November 1952 2
Second Korean Winter: 28 November 1951-30 April 1952 2
Battle Honors (WWII):
Consolidation of the Southern Philippines: 28 February-20 July 1945 4
Invasion of Normandy: 6-25 June 1944 4
Leyte Operation: 10 October-16 December 1944 4
Luzon Operation: 12 December 1944-1 April 1945 4
Okinawa Gunto Operation: 17 March-30 June 1945 4
Bath Iron Works: Bath, ME 5
27 February - 22 June 1952: Korea 2
28 March - 29 June 1954: Korea 2
9-16 March 1954: Korea 2
April 1945: Okinawa 4
April-November 1970: Jordan 4
June 1944: Normandy, France 4
October 1944: Philippines 4
Naval Service:
Commissioned: 08 Feb 1944 5
Decommissioned: 29 Mar 1975 4
Decommissioned to Reserve: 30 Jun 1947 5
Laid Down: 28 Jun 1943 5
Launched: 21 Nov 1943 5
Recommissioned: 26 Jan 1951 5
Sponsor: Beatrice F. Laffey 5
Struck: 01 Mar 1975 4
Also known as: DD-724 4
Category: Allen M. Sumner-Class Destroyer 4
Name: USS Laffey 4

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