A new interactive exhibit was dedicated aboard the USS Laffey. The Laffey is a World War II era destroyer moored at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The exhibit which reenacts through sound, light and video, a Japanese Kamikaze attack on the ship on April 16, 1945. The exhibit is mounted in the rear gun mount, which is a confined, cramped area, and is known as Mount 53.
According to Patriots Point director Mac Burdette, the exhibit is the prototype of several exhibits which will upgrade the Patriots Point experience over the next 4 years. The exhibit was made possible by a grant from the National Tin Can Sailors Association. For those unfamiliar with Navy terminology, "tin can" is Navy slang for a destroyer.
According to Burdette, when Patriots Point opened in the 1970s, there were over 20 million World War II veterans still alive. Today, that number is 2 million. Burdette said that this was the first part of an effort to upgrade exhibits to make them more interactive "for the next generation."
Among those present for the ceremonies were Sonny Walker, President of the USS Laffey Association, and Lee Hunt, who served on the Laffey and survived the attack on the ship.Walker said of the Mount 53 exhibit,"it is very moving, our visitors will come away with a different feeling about the ship." Walker quoted Lee Hunt as saying about the exhibit,"this was about as real as it gets." There are no better words to describe it.
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