Veterans remember USS Laffey crew-members who died in WWII attack

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Veterans paid tribute to the USS Laffey sailors who died while serving aboard the warship and those who have died since.

On Monday afternoon, dozens of people gathered aboard the destroyer, many of whom are veterans who served on the ship itself.

They gathered to honor their fellow shipmates.

Thirty-two sailors died while serving on the warship during a fierce attack in April 1945 off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

The ship was hit by six kamikaze planes and four bombs.

“We can feel her come alive when we come aboard," said Sonny Walker, a veteran."And people say,'Aren’t you afraid of ghosts?' I said they would be shipmates so it doesn’t make any difference. We know them all. And they’re the ones that we’re here to honor.”

Those lost were honored during the ceremony by casting a wreath in their honor overboard.

Organizers say they try and do a memorial service every year.

One veteran said the USS Laffey is the last Sumner-class destroyer that is still afloat.

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