Drydocking USS Slater, Last WWII Destroyer Escort Afloat

Photo: Michael Sheehan

Photo: Michael Sheehan

Could the arrival of the the USS Slater, the last World War II destroyer escort still afloat in the United States, be a sign of spring in New York harbor?  We can only hope, although as the sky today remains about as gray as her paint, perhaps that might be too optimistic. The old ship was towed down the Hudson River from her usual home in Albany by the tug Marigot and arrived at Caddell Dry Dock in Staten Island this morning for drydocking and repair.  She was originally scheduled to go into the yard in February, but heavy ice on the Hudson kept her alongside her dock.  The Slater‘s drydocking and repairs are being funded entirely by private donations.

USS Slater was built at Tampa Shipyard and commissioned in 1944.  After serving in convoy and other duties in World War II, she was transfered to the Hellenic Navy and renamed Aetos (“Eagle”,) where she served until she was decommissioned in 1991.  Destroyer escort sailors from around the nation donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to bring the Slater back to the United States as a museum ship. She returned to the US in 1993 and has been a museum ship in Albany since 1996.

USS Slater DE-766

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6 Responses to Drydocking USS Slater, Last WWII Destroyer Escort Afloat

  1. Richard Wiringa says:

    Sending a small donation on behalf of those who served in DE-182, U.S.S. Gustafson. Though there are 584 digits between us (766-182), the spirit of the people who sailed in DE’s is memorable. In tribute to my father, Leon O. Wiringa, Lt., U.S.N.R., South Atlantic hunter-killers.

  2. Brian de Villa says:

    The USS Slater is not the last one afloat. There is still one
    in active Military service.
    The Philippine Navy RPS Rajah Humabon (PS-78) was previously the USS Atherton, DE-169, of the same Cannon class as the USS Slater.

  3. Rick Spilman says:

    Very interesting. Thanks.

  4. Phil says:

    In the video, “only survivor still afloat in the United States”.

  5. Rick Spilman says:

    I have updated the post with the additional qualification, “in the United States.”

    Thanks to Brian and Phil.

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