USS Slater (DE-766)

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USS SLATER DE-766 during WWII.jpg
USS Slater during World War II
History
United States
Name: USS Slater
Namesake: Frank O. Slater
Builder: Tampa Shipbuilding Company, Tampa, Florida
Laid down: 9 March 1943
Launched: 20 February 1944
Commissioned: 1 May 1944
Decommissioned: 26 September 1947
Struck: 7 March 1951
Identification: DE-766
Fate: Transferred to Greece, 1 March 1951
Greece
Name: Aetos
Acquired: 1 March 1951
Decommissioned: 5 July 1991
Identification: D01
Fate: Returned to US and preserved as memorial in Albany, New York
General characteristics
Class and type: Cannon-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,240 long tons (1,260 t)
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 36 ft 8 in (11.18 m)
Draft: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
Propulsion:
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 10,800 nmi (20,000 km; 12,400 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 15 officers, 201 enlisted
Armament:
USS Slater (Destroyer Escort)
USS Slater (DE-766) is located in New York
USS Slater (DE-766)
USS Slater (DE-766) is located in USA
USS Slater (DE-766)
Location Port of Albany, Albany, New York
Coordinates 42°37′40″N 73°45′19″W / 42.62778°N 73.75528°W / 42.62778; -73.75528Coordinates: 42°37′40″N 73°45′19″W / 42.62778°N 73.75528°W / 42.62778; -73.75528
Built 1944
NRHP Reference # 98000393[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 7 May 1998
Designated NHL 2 March 2012

USS Slater (DE-766) is a Cannon-class destroyer escort that served in the United States Navy and later in the Hellenic (Greek) Navy. The ship was named for Frank O. Slater of Alabama, a sailor killed on the cruiser USS San Francisco during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for gallantry in action and the Purple Heart. Following service during World War II, the ship was transferred to Greece and renamed Aetos. Decommissioned in 1991, the destroyer escort was returned to the United States.

USS Slater is now a museum ship on the Hudson River in Albany, New York, the only one of its kind afloat in the United States. (USS Stewart (DE-238) is exhibited at Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas, but located on dry land.) Slater was designated a National Historic Landmark on 2 March 2012.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

USS Slater was laid down on 9 March 1943, she was christened on 20 Feb 1944 by Lenora Slater, mother of Frank Olga Slater and launched on 20 February 1944. The ship was commissioned on 1 May 1944. She was built at the Tampa Shipbuilding Company in Tampa, Florida.[3]

After a shakedown cruise near Bermuda in June 1944, Slater was sent to Key West where she served as a target ship and a sonar school ship. In the latter part of 1944, Slater escorted two convoys to the United Kingdom. She continued serving in this capacity from January 1945 until May 1945.

When the war in Europe ended, Slater headed to the Pacific, stopping at Guantanamo Bay and Panama. She went through the Panama Canal on 28 June 1945 and stopped at San Diego before sailing to Pearl Harbor. From there she joined Task Unit 33.2.4 at Manila in September and escorted it to Yokohama. Slater engaged in support operations in the Pacific through the remainder of the year. She made another passage through the Canal on her way to Norfolk for deactivation. Slater was placed in the reserve fleet at Green Cove Springs, Florida in 1947.

Greek service[edit]

On 1 March 1951, Slater was transferred to the Hellenic Navy under the Truman Doctrine, and renamed Aetos ("Eagle") (D01). Along with three other Cannon-class ships, she made up what was known as the "Wild Beasts" Flotilla. The ship did patrol duty in the eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese and also served as a training vessel for naval cadets.[4] Aetos was decommissioned in 1991, and Greece donated the ship to the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association.

USS SLATER 2014.jpg

Destroyer escort sailors from around the nation donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to bring Slater back to the United States as a museum ship. A Russian ocean-going tugboat towed the ship from Crete to New York City in 1993, where it was docked next to the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. Volunteers began restoring the ship and seeking a permanent home for her; Albany, New York was decided upon. On Sunday, 26 October 1997, Slater arrived at the Port of Albany. In January 2006, a welder accidentally started a fire aboard Slater which caused some minor damage to the ship. Repairs were completed within a few months. Restoration of the ship remains an on-going project.

On 7 May 1998, Slater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Slater was refitted several times during her long service with two navies. One of her depth-charge racks, and four "K-gun" depth charge launchers have been removed. Two twin Bofors 40 mm guns have been added, and the ten single 20 mm guns have been replaced with nine twin mounts.

Appearances in film[edit]

3-inch/50 caliber gun aboard USS Slater (DE-766)

Slater has been featured in two motion pictures. The ship was seen in The Guns of Navarone (1961) and also in I Aliki sto Naftiko (Η Αλίκη στο Ναυτικό/Alice in the Navy, filmed in 1961) while in Greek service.[5] In August 2008 part of the Japanese film Orion in Midsummer was filmed on board.[6] History Channel documentaries have also featured Slater.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Secretary Salazar Designates Thirteen New National Historic Landmarks". U.S. Department of the Interior. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "History of the USS Slater". Destroyer Escort Historical Museum. 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Aetos D-01 (1951-1991)". Hellenic Navy. 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Mecomber, Mrs. (2 August 2010). "Aboard the U.S.S. Slater in Albany, NY". New York Traveler. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "WWII Movie 'Orion In Midsummer' To Be Filmed On USS Slater Battleship In Albany NY". albany.com. 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Now showing: USS Slater", Albany Times Union, 18 May 2009.[dead link]

External links[edit]