Destroyer Escort USS Slater Naval Museum
The Destroyer Escort Slater is a Cannon Class Destroyer Escort. The ship's specs are:
Length: 306 feet
Flash! - 4/06/2014 - The USS Slater is towed down the Hudson River to a Staten Island dry dock for hull repairs and fresh paint.
You can visit the Destroyer Escort USS Slater DE-766 Museum in Albany, NY. I had first visited the ship with my dad back when it was first berthed at the USS Intrepid museum on the Hudson River in New York Harbor. At that time the ship was a rusty mess and missing a lot of its equipment. Today it is just fantastic! Museum Director Tim Rizzuto and his Albany staff & volunteers have done a bang up job of cleaning, painting, restoring, and sourcing missing hardware. Personally I feel it's the best restored naval museum vessel I've visited, and I've been to a few. My dad served on the DE USS Bangust in the Pacific during the WWII and he volunteered to help with the cleanup way back when it was berthed in New York harbor along side the Intrepid. We were all so disappointed when the Intrepid staff said it must go and it left our area, but in the end it was the best thing that ever could have happened to the USS Slater. I do not think the ship would ever have gotten the care and attention to detail that the Albany staff have given it had it remained at the Intrepid Museum. And they continue to restore and open up new compartments and scour the country for period hardware and equipment.
My tour guide that day on the USS Slater was PT Boat Veteran Jack Madden, who knew the Slater from top to bottom. Jack is a great guy, and will go out of his way to make you feel welcome and understand and appreciate the USS Slater and what our fathers went through serving aboard ship during the war.
The USS Slater's staff and volunteers have done an outstanding job of returning the Destroyer Escort to it's original WWII configuration. I think it is safe to say it is the most period correct of the surviving WWII Destroyers and DEs. A Japanese film crew looking for a US WWII era Destroyer for use in a sub vs destroyer movie chose this DE above all others for the filming as it was the least modified and most accurately configured and equipped vessel of either type. The film is not yet out in the US but you can view the trailer (in Japanese) of the movie Orion in Midsummer here. There are a few quick interior scenes from the Slater as well as the firing of the side depth charges at night which the crew did on the Hudson River in Albany.
Here's a Youtube Video tour of the USS Slater.
For an idea of what life aboard a Destroyer Escort during the World War Two was like, have a look at my Dad's photos from his time serving on the Destroyer Escort Bangust during WWII in the Pacific Theater as an Electrician's Mate.
|In December of 2006 Tim Rizzuto, the Destroyer Escort's Executive Director invited me up for another visit to the USS Slater as she was tied up at her winter berth. This location is less vulnerable to damage from spring thaw ice flows. At the summer site the breaking ice can lodge between the ship and pier damaging the wooden pier and dock. The winter berth has a concrete bulkhead much better suited to the pounding of a spring thaw. One thing that really amazed me was here in Albany, a 160 mile drive from New York harbor they have daily tidal flows of 6 feet! The photos above show the ship wrapped up for winter and some areas in various stages of restoration. There are also a few areas I did not get to shoot the first time.|
|On August 3, 2008 the USS Slater was the host of ceremonies for the celebration of the 218th Birthday of the United States Coast Guard. The event included a Coast Guard Honor Guard, New York State officials and Coast Guard Veterans speaking, a salute by the Destroyer Escort's 3 inch main gun mount, and lunch and cake prepared by the Slater's volunteers. Upon conclusion of ceremonies, the volunteers went back to work painting, scraping, welding, and meticulously fabricating replacement parts and mounts to bring their Destroyer Escort to a standard that few naval museums could match. You'll also see the results of the outstanding restoration of the USS Slater's Motor Whale Boat and the first class work that's been completed on the engine room's motor main control panel.|