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.