It just did not seem possible that a ship could have taken so much punishment and survived; one kamikaze hit was often enough to sink a ship. Ari Phoutrides talks about experiencing a massive kamikaze attack one day while posted to Radar Picket Station #1 off the coast of Okinawa during which his ship was hit by four bombs and six kamikazes. The draft gets a constitutional challenge, and more troops get approved to help with COVID-19 vaccinations. Burgess asked for a battle ensign; Kelly gave the dying man a flag. Becton hoped his ship would be as lucky, but at the same time, he felt he should speak to his crew about the battle that was bound to come. Combat Information Center officer Lloyd Hull, 22, sensed a nightmare unfolding. Destroyer (original working title: Kamikaze) will mark Gibson’s second foray into events concerning the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. Fragments severed the tips of two of the doctor’s fingers. It was finally over, and the grim toll was staggering: 80 minutes of continuous air attack, 22 separate attacks, six kamikazes crashed into the ship and four bomb hits. With Beau Billingslea. The destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) became a famous hero ship after surviving an 80-minute attack by 22 Japanese kamikaze planes and conventional bombers on April 16, 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa. The plane had dropped a bomb, killing one 20mm gun crew and wounding members of another nearby crew. Becton ordered hard left rudder, bringing the destroyer broadside to the planes, and the two forward 5-inch guns downed two of the Vals at about 3,000 yards. Nail ’em!” rose above the din of the receding battle. … Purdy had been struck by a kamikaze on April 12, killing 13 and wounding 270. The 20mm and 40mm guns finally downed the plane about 50 yards out, but just before hitting the water, the pilot released a bomb that sent shrapnel flying everywhere, wounding several more men and knocking others off their feet. They had tangled with the enemy before and won. The Corsair clipped Laffey’s air search radar, toppling the “bedspring” antenna but gaining enough altitude for the pilot to bail out. The blast killed a pharmacist’s mate and the sailor he was treating. Becton requested their assistance, and the fighter-director team sent them toward the Japanese. Before the ship’s gunners could lock on, the Judy crashed close by. Another German shell landed off the Laffey’s port bow with a huge splash; afterward, damage control personnel discovered an unexploded round on the deck of the boatswain’s locker, a cramped bow space just above the waterline. The crewmen began to imagine what might happen to them when they went out to their assigned picket station. As happened with each kamikaze that rammed into Laffey, the impact spread gasoline over the adjoining area. The last attacker, a Judy, was shot down by a Corsair. He coaxed mount 52 pointer Seaman Kenneth Pitta, the 19-year-old son of Portuguese immigrants, to increase the range 50 yards — then watched a round strike home. Three gunner’s mates were also wounded. Meanwhile, Laffey and its two-support craft would have to deal with the enemy on their own. Damage-control crewmen began to heave the clips over the side of the ship. With the other Judy aiming for the port beam, Becton ordered helmsman Doran to swing 30 degrees to starboard. With the Laffey defenseless astern, a Val pilot planted a bomb on the fantail. Mount captain Warren Walker shouted: “We got the SOB! Do you think we’ll have to abandon ship?” Becton quickly replied: “Hell no, Frank. That plane’s bomb wiped out the mount’s gun crew and wounded several others. He grabbed a new flag from the flag locker, shinnied up the mast and attached the new colors with a piece of line. Erich Kastner, German poet, novelist and children's author (Emil and the Detectives). Blistering temperatures soared higher. In the brief lull that followed, assistant communications officer Lieutenant Frank Manson arrived on the bridge to report to the skipper. The ammunition racks around the gun tubs were filled with clips of shells, which were in danger of exploding due to the heat. Thousands came, many hearing the word “kamikaze” for the first time — and realizing what a lucky ship the Laffey truly was. Gasoline from both planes produced roaring fires that covered the whole aft part of the ship. For more great articles subscribe to World War II magazine today! Next up for the destroyer, however, was duty in the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force invading Okinawa, an island well within the range of planes based on Japan’s home islands. Reaching station the next day, the Laffey was joined by two Landing Craft, Support, LCS-51 and LCS-116. “This marked us as a cripple,” he recalled. As Laffey prepared to depart, the skipper of Cassin Young offered some advice to Becton: “Keep moving and keep shooting. At four knots, the Laffey — on the verge of flooding — and its rescuers needed the balance of the day and night to reach anchorage off Okinawa. As soon as Laffey tied up alongside Cassin Young, the fighter-director team of two officers and three enlisted men reported aboard, carrying with them special electronic gear. The next attacker, another Val, came streaking in on the port beam. When attacks got heaviest, several 51 sailors panicked and jumped overboard. No, the skipper insisted, not as long as one gun still fired. A month later, the Laffey recrossed the Atlantic to have repair, maintenance, and modifications done at the Boston Navy Yard. As he watched the Corsair chase the last attacker, Becton realized that his CAP planes, which had been spread thinly and even lured out of position at times, were now beginning to furnish some close support. After suicide attacks they would be dousing fires, moving casualties, and recovering survivors. Bandaging the bloody stumps, he calmly asked the astonished pharmacist’s mate who was assisting him, “Who’s next?”. The stern 5-inch gun hot down the third kamikaze, and the 20mm and 40mm mounts downed the fourth with an assist from the gunners on LCS 51. On April 6 and 7, for example, 700 planes, roughly half on suicide missions, swarmed American ships, sinking five and damaging 15. From the bridge of another ship, Becton had seen the first Laffey go down. Conditions remained quiet until Sunday night, when all at once snoopers seemed to fill the sky. Julian Becton, 36, and a core group of veteran officers and petty officers had overseen the commissioning, then trained a 336-man crew, mostly raw recruits. No sooner was this done than a Val or a Judy — no one was sure which — crashed into the ruins of Delewski’s mount. One came in from astern low and fast, just a few feet above the water. Men gazed in amazement at the battered newcomer. But just then a bomb-carrying suicide plane struck the 116’s after 40mm gun, killing three crewmen and wounding others. The destroyer was down by the stern; only two dogged-down hatches amidships were keeping it from flooding. We got him! Shrapnel from the Judy’s bomb severed all communications to Laffey‘s two remaining 5-inch guns, as well as wounded the crews who were still working the hot 20mm and 40mm guns. Disastrous conditions aft only worsened when a 20th attacker, a Val concealed by sun and smoke, dropped a bomb on the fantail and flew off, carrying away the mast’s remaining yardarm. Laffey survived despite being badly damaged by four bombs, six kamikaze crashes, and strafing fire that killed 32 … Although crewmen began to work on it at once, their efforts were fruitless. Sign up for the Navy Times Daily News Roundup to receive the top Navy stories every afternoon. Flying low, one Val bound for the stern caught a wheel on a wave and nosed in. Don't miss the top Navy stories, delivered each afternoon. (Source: Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum) But despite the damage, the sailors of the Laffey fought off the attack and kept the ship afloat, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum spokesman Christopher Hauff said. Upon completion of underway training, Laffey visited Washington Navy Yard for one day and departed on 28 February 1944, arriving in Bermuda on 4 March. Cmdr. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. Below and forward of mount 52, mount 51 — also without power — slowly slewed toward a Val diving for the starboard bow. As the plane exploded, the gun’s trainer, Andy Stash, yelled excitedly: “We got him! There was no time to rejoice over that success, however, because two more attackers, Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” dive bombers, were coming in fastâone from the starboard beam and one from the port beam. Three hundred rounds of 5-inch ammunition were also loaded aboard so that Laffey would sail with full magazines of all calibers. The attacker on the starboard beam was hit with a 5-inch round head-on in the propeller and engine and blew apart. The smoke and flames must have indicated to the attackers that Laffey was nearly done for, but they did not ease off. W.E.B. The Japanese had had enough and were hightailing it out of the area with the CAP planes in hot pursuit. You’ll knock a lot of them down, and you’ll think you’re doing fine. What a beautiful sight!” Meanwhile, another gun had the other attacker in its sights as the plane came diving in. Using pumps, they got the flooding under control aboard the badly damaged ship. Crashing to Laffey’s signal deck, the big antenna just missed Kelly. With a microphone strapped around his neck and plugged into the ship’s loudspeaker system, he climbed atop the pilothouse, from where he could see the onrushing attackers, and directed the gunfire from there. DD USS Laffey, radar picket, 2 x LCI as AAS pickets. Some of them were so hot that the men had to protect their hands with rags. The tugs Pakana (ATF 108) and Tawakoni (ATF 114) were dispatched to bring in Laffey. But Laffey‘s gunners had shot down nine attackers. The last plane was a Judy, which strafed Laffey as it came in from the port side. Laffey‘s crewmen felt as if they had been battling the enemy for hours, but it was only 8:42, just 12 minutes since the attacks had started. He pressed the microphone button, and throughout the ship boomed the familiar words, “This is the captain speaking.” Becton warned his crew not to expect the same kind of luck Ditter had had. Davis’s 40mm couldn’t swing far enough to reach the plane, but an alert .50-caliber gunner stitched rounds right into the cockpit. The first, angling for the starboard beam, came in low, a bull’s-eye for the Laffey’s 20mms and 40mms. Its bomb exploded, hurling metal through the thin side hatch of mount 52. She returned briefly to Naval Station Norfolk, where she served as a school ship, then headed for New York City to join the screen of a convoy escort bound for England on 14 May. In conclusion, Becton said: “We’re going to outmaneuver and outshoot them. As the Corsair zoomed by, it hit the air-search radar antenna and knocked it to the deck below. The fires threatened a magazine below the mount, so firefighters flooded it, preventing an explosion that could have torn the ship apart. The shrapnel knocked out an electrical panel and seriously wounded three gunners, including mount captain Warren G. Walker. “Here they come!”. ... USS Laffey (DD-724) Profile. The bomb he was carrying exploded, causing the plane to disintegrate and throwing gun captain Larry Delewski clear of danger. The pilot dropped his bomb and sped away. Everyone on board, especially the gunners, had held his own in the siege, now in its 12th minute. When the Judy on the starboard side got within range of the 20mm and 40mm guns, it was torn apart by converging fire and crashed into the sea. The gunners of the three after 20mm mounts hit him with accurate fire, and parts of the plane broke off, but the pilot kept boring in. On April 16th, 1945 a small destroyer in the Pacific was attacked by 22 kamikaze planes. Cannon blasts from mount 53, abetted by the ship’s 20mms and 40mms and those aboard the LCS-51, brought down the other attacking Val. Laffey’s guns were severely damaged by multiple bombs and kamikaze attacks by Japanese fighters. Suicide pilots there mauled 11 ships, but the Laffey again escaped unscathed. 1. Sonarman Charlie Bell, Becton’s telephone talker, provided him with the encouraging news he so desperately needed. Both plane and bomb blew, killing six of Delewski’s crew and skewing a gun barrel skyward like a dislocated finger. The ship’s casualties totaled 32 dead and 71 wounded. The starboard Judy never got close; 20mm and 40mm fire left its death-wish pilot without a plane to fly. 1. Directed by John T. Wright. Young LCS skippers like the 51’s Lt. Howell D. Chickering and the 116’s Lt. A. J. Wierzbicki had few illusions about their purpose. Cmdr. But it was RP 1 and adjacent posts that would encounter the main aerial threat. “We’ll have to hold the bastards off for awhile ourselves.”. Laffey‘s escorts on radar picket station No. Shouts of “Get the bastards! Amid all the confusion and noise, Becton heard what sounded like many planes diving at once. Shrapnel peppered portside 20mm gunner Bob Robertson, 19, who would lose an eye but survive because gun captain Fred Burgess shoved Robertson to the deck as the blast nearly severed one of Burgess’s legs below the knee. In the engineering spaces, smoke forced men to close ventilators. “Captain, look what’s up there,” he said, pointing skyward. Laffey‘s crew recovered an aircraft code-book and other miscellaneous items that they would turn over to the intelligence section ashore, then sank the plane. The other pickets, numbered clockwise, also took bearings from Point Bolo. But the Laffey’s fight to survive went on. The fighter-director team’s two officers requested more help from CAP. Two high-capacity pumps enabled the gunboat to double as a fireboat. The smoke began to clear and the temperature began to fall. When German coastal batteries threatened Allied minesweepers, destroyers Barton, O’Brien, and Laffey rushed in to lay smoke. Allan MacLeod Cormack, physicist, developed the CAT scan. Knowing that the smoke would undoubtedly attract more kamikazes, Becton reduced the ship’s speed to avoid fanning the flames. The first plane slammed into the aft deckhouse, exploding in a ball of fire. The plane took a direct hit from a manually trained 5-inch gun, with an assist from the 20mm and 40mm mounts. RP 1, the station nearest Japan, lay 50 miles due north of “Point Bolo,” the westernmost spot along Okinawa’s central coast. Mount 53 In the Mount 53 Experience exhibit, take a step back to April 16, 1945 during an historic kamikaze attack on the USS LAFFEY. 4.7 out of 5 stars 159. USS Laffey (DD 724) during World War II, packing six dual-purpose five-inch guns and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes. Luminous dots — most now too near to distinguish, track, or report — pocked their screens. Throughout, LCS-51’s Howell Chickering had managed to stay close to the Laffey. Communications to the bridge were disrupted, so Becton sent Ari Phoutrides aft for a firsthand assessment. Ensign Jim Townsley quickly jury-rigged a substitute system for communicating with the gun mounts. The aircraft cleared the 116, barrel-rolled into the water, and exploded. When the guns fired, Smith saw rounds splashing short. Battling the Fires Aboard the USS Laffey. A tally revealed 103 casualties on the destroyer, including 32 dead. Against all odds, the valiant sailors of the USS Laffey … There was no light or ventilation and no way out, but there was a telephone that still worked, and they got through to the aft engine room. Before additional repairs were begun, the battered ship was thrown open for viewing by the public. Signalman Tom McCarthy saw Laffey‘s colors fall to the deck and wasted no time in remedying the situation. I'll never abandon ship as long as a gun will fire." Then, at 8:25 a.m., the radar operator reported a solid cluster of pips too numerous to count approaching at 17,000 yards. Although Laffey‘s crew had encountered suicide bombers at Leyte, Mindoro, Luzon and Iwo Jima, they had never before seen so many damaged ships in one place. Thursday, April 16th is the 75 th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the destroyer USS Laffey that took place while it was operating off the coast of Okinawa during World War II. Shortly after dawn on April 13, Becton brought his ship into the crowded harbor at Kerama Retto. By the end of the 22nd attack, the situation aboard Laffey was critical. Two more kamikazes, both Oscars, came streaking in, one from the starboard beam and one from the starboard bow. When general quarters ended at 3 a.m., bridge quartermaster Aristides “Ari” Phoutrides, 19, crawled exhausted into his rack. Not long after that, the radar operator reported eight more enemy aircraft approaching, and again Becton requested Bryant‘s CAP planes. Even as inbound Combat Air Patrol pilots reached LCS-116, two more suicide planes struck the Laffey, each slamming into the after deckhouse, where four sailors died. Prey and pursuer zipped over gun boss Paul Smith’s basket, the Oscar shearing off the mast’s port yardarm — and with it the ship’s American flag — before hitting the water. A short while later three bogeys appeared on the radar scope, but Laffey had no Combat Air Patrol (CAP) planes to assist it. Turning over RP 1 to the Laffey on April 14, the departing destroyer’s commanding officer reported few enemy “snoopers” aloft, and no raids. At the same time, a Nakajima Ki-43 “Oscar” was streaking in from the port bow with a CAP Vought F4U Corsair on its tail. Mel Gibson plans to direct a film about the ferocious kamikaze attack on USS Laffey (DD-724), according to a report published by The Hollywood Reporter. By April 22, six days after her ordeal on the picket line, Laffey had undergone enough repairs to depart for Saipan. well-placed bomb to severely damage or sink aircraft carriers and other large ships late in the war. kamikaze aircraft on the 347-foot destroyer, leaving 32 of her 336 crewmen The ship should have “died” that day. At 8:30, four Aichi D3A “Val” dive-bombers broke off from the oncoming group and headed for Laffey, which was steaming along at flank speed. Shortly after sunrise, when Laffey was safely at anchor, the crew went aboard the tug Tawakoni for breakfast, their first real meal in almost 24 hours. The portside 20mm and 40mm mounts and the Corsair were hitting the Judy, which splashed into the water about 50 yards away from Laffey. The crew first saw fighting action on June 8, 1944, but the Laffey’s real baptism by fire occurred on June 25 off Cherbourg. The attack on the Laffey lasted 48 turns and it was bloody as hell for the Japanese and Americans alike.-----Saga of the USS Laffey USN Side. History Channel Video Dogfights USS Laffey may be viewed onboard USS Laffey at Patriots Point. Laffey 's main battery destroyed a Val approaching from starboard. Fortunately, the Channel was calm — no swells to flood the bow or trigger a blast. The blast wiped out gun and crew and ripped a five-foot seam in the starboard bulkhead of the wardroom, crowded with medical personnel and wounded. That could mean only one thing: Laffey had drawn duty on the radar picket lineâthe most dangerous, deadly and unwanted assignment in the Okinawa campaign as far as Navy personnel were concerned. The ship earned the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die" for her exploits during the D-Day invasion and the battle of Okinawa when it successfully withstood a determined assault by both conventional and kamikaze air attacks. On April 16, 1945, the destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) got crashed by seven kamikaze planes [ 1] and hit by bombs dropped by two other Japanese aircraft. The sole remaining Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer is USS Laffey (DD 724).. First commissioned in 1944 and attached to DesRon 60, Laffey engaged the enemy at “Utah Beach” as part of the Normandy invasion before her transfer to the Pacific, where she participated in operations in the Philippines and Iwo Jima. January 3, 2017 A Review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book “Hell from the Heavens” (The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack) written by John Wukovitz) I purchased this book from a local bookstore based on a short squib describing the book. The destroyer Laffey (DD-724) fought for 80 minutes against 22 Japanese kamikaze planes and conventional bombers on April 16, 1945. On April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey were battle hardened and prepared. Two came in from the bow and two from the stern in a coordinated attack. Flaming gasoline covered Laffey‘s fantail and aft gun mount, sending more black smoke billowing into the air. Under director control, mounts 51 and 52 downed the two Vals off the bow. The fires still raged, the stern was down due to flooded aft compartments, many guns no longer functioned and the rudder was still jammed at 26 degrees. "The USS Laffey survived despite being badly damaged by four bombs, six kamikaze crashes, and strafing fire that killed 32 and wounded 71. A 15th attacker — a bomb-toting Oscar — approached, with company: one of the dozen-plus Marine Corsairs and Navy Hellcats finally reaching RP 1. But in December 1944, as the Allies began a series of Philippine island invasions, suicide attacks increased in frequency and ferocity. The Laffey’s breakfast chow line stretched to the main deck when radar operators picked up a single enemy aerial contact or “bogey” — an Aichi D3A “Val” dive-bomber, recognizable by its fixed landing gear — off the port bow. On March 29th, 1975 USS Laffey was decommissioned yet again. LCS 51 had a 7-foot hole in her port side amidships, and three of her sailors had been wounded. Taking inspiration from a legendary “Divine Wind” said to have protected ancient Japan from an attacking Mongol fleet, Japan’s warlords fashioned a modern intervention: aerial suicide crashes aimed at sinking enemy ships — especially aircraft carriers. Just when it seemed that the gunners were goners, a Corsair came roaring in with all guns blazing and blew up the Judy in midair. World War II hero honored: Amid kamikaze attack, he saved his destroyer's flag Rep. Chris Smith gave Shore native Bill Kelly a special gift for his heroics aboard the USS Laffey in 1945. Casualties reached nearly 1,000 killed and 1,500 wounded, for a time dwarfing the toll ashore. The communications officers were on the horn with the amphibious command ship Eldorado. Combat Air Patrols were changing shifts, delaying fighters. In the span of roughly an hour and a half, the Laffey was hit by four bombs and struck by as many as eight kamikazes. About two minutes later, another Val came gliding in from astern, probably because the guns were out of commission there. The Laffey’s April 13 stay in Wiseman’s Cove was brief. He didn’t get far; a Corsair seemed to come out of nowhere to shoot him down several hundred yards off the starboard bow. The Japanese pilot strafed the ship, peppering the superstructure and wounding several men. The rudder jammed at 26 degrees left, and the ship began to steam in a circle, still able to maintain speed but without control. Steam as fast as you can and shoot as fast as you can.”. It was the second U.S. destroyer to bear the name Laffey; the first ship had been lost off Guadalcanal in 1942. John Michel went to work again, this time with some help from Machinist’s Mate Buford Thompson. Laffey‘s next stop was Pearl Harbor, where the crew was warmly welcomed and entertained while the ship underwent further patching to ensure its safe passage back to the West Coast. The destroyer USS Laffey already had seen action on D-Day at Normandy and later at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines before it came under attack on April 16, 1945, at Okinawa. Looking toward the heavens, the destroyer crew saw what seemed to be the entire Japanese Air Force assembled directly above. Multiplied many times, these tactics might prevent Japan’s utter defeat. Only the three fantail 20mms had a clear shot. After 80 minutes, the battle, arguably the most concentrated and relentless aerial suicide attack ever endured — and survived — by an American ship, had ended. Paperback $15.99 $ 15. Shrapnel from the bomb hit the emergency sick bay that the ship’s medical officer, Lieutenant Matt Darnell, had set up topside. The high-speed minesweeper Macomb moved in to tow the Laffey until two tugs arrived. The USS Laffey is nicknamed "The Ship That Would Not Die" based on the book written by Captain Julian Becton. The pilot slumped and his plane’s nose jerked up. After seeing Laffey‘s condition, everyone got the message loud and clear. The harrowing pattern reached a crescendo on Jan. 6, 1945, off Luzon. They went to the emergency diesel generator room and secured the watertight door behind them. Also, the latest on the status of the JEDI contract and the latest headlines from the defense industry. The eighth attacker, another Judy, came skimming in low over the water on the starboard beam. 2 x F4U Corsairs, Entering on turn 10. No enemy action occurred the next day, Sunday, April 15. 3. The battle was not over yet. As he passed low over the length of the ship, he clipped off the starboard yardarm. Morale was low, and it only got worse when they received news that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died the day before. At 6:14 the following morning, April 17, Laffey entered the harbor at Kerama Retto. Becton, shouting orders from the flying bridge by voice tube to quartermaster Jack Doran in the pilothouse below, ordered hard left rudder; he meant to stay broadside to the attackers so as many guns as possible could engage. The Val’s landing gear obliterated the starboard side 20mm mounts and two sets of 40mms; it lost a wing, then toppled over the side. On April 14, Laffey, accompanied by LCS 51 (landing craft, support) and LCS 116, arrived on station 51 miles north of Point Bolo on south-central Okinawa, which was used as a reference point in aligning the 16 picket sectors. Before repairs began, the Navy, to recruit shipyard workers and educate the public, opened the scarred vessel to visitors for two days. LCSs were adaptations of Landing Craft, Infantry, heavily armed with .50-caliber, 20mm, and 40mm guns. Laffey, an Allen M. SumnerÂ-class destroyer, had been screening the heavy fleet units that were bombarding Okinawa in close support of the ground forces ashore. Seven bomb-carrying kamikaze aircraft crashed into the vessel and four bombs were dropped on it. To subscribe, click here. Commander Frederick Julian Becton, captain of the destroyer USS Laffey (DD 724), took the radio message his communications officer handed him on April 12, 1945, but the concerned look on the young officer’s face made Becton suspect that it was not good news. As happened with each kamikaze that rammed into Laffey, the impact spread gasoline over the adjoining area. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. The damage-control parties had no time to take a breather. It was a group of 165 kamikazes and 150 other enemy aircraft coming in fast from the north. The message told Commander Becton to detach his ship from the screening force and proceed at once to the huge naval anchorage at Kerama Retto, where he was to go alongside the destroyer Cassin Young and take aboard its fighter-director team. That Val did not get away either; a Corsair pounced on him and finished him off. The flammable material flooded Youngquist’s gun mounts on the superstructure deck, eight feet above the main deck, and quickly ignited, engulfing men and equipment in a conflagration. The 20th attacker, another Val, came gliding in from dead astern. Shrapnel struck ship’s doctor Matthew Darnell’s hand but he kept working. Fifty miles to the east, however, there was a group of CAP planes with the destroyer Bryant (DD 665) on picket station No. They chiseled a hole through the bulkhead and passed an air hose to the trapped men. Aboard LCS-116, now well off to the east and out of range of the Laffey and the 51, men had their hands just as full. But not before its pilot banked between the destroyer ’ s Mate John Michel to... Crewmen began to imagine what might happen to them when they received News that President Franklin D. had. The 22nd attack, the skipper insisted, not as long as a gun barrel skyward like dislocated! 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