Who remembers lowering and hoisting the whaleboat, using radial davits? LIFE Archive photo by Thomas D. McAvoy.
As the last Destroyer Escort afloat in America, the USS SLATER offers one hour tours of the ship. Located in downtown Albany, New York on the Hudson River.
USS Slater DE 766 / HS Aetos D 01
Who remembers lowering and hoisting the whaleboat, using radial davits? LIFE Archive photo by Thomas D. McAvoy.
"Cooks in the Navy seldom get decorated for bravery, although this is not because they do not deserve medals. The Navy figures that any man who can dish out chow and insults to three hundred men three times a day and then walk among them unarmed doesn't need a medal. The crew knows he's a brave man; they know all cooks are brave men. Those who weren't probably jumped overboard after their first meal." From, "Brave Ship, Brave Men," by Arnold Lott. Photo from
the LIFE Archive, by Thomas D. McAvoy.
Hey, it's the 10th of the month, and we never got around to posting the link for our online newsletter, SLATER SIGNALS. Follow the link and hang out with us.https://www.ussslater.org/publications/signals/vol-23/ss-23-02.pdf
Monday, 9 March, 2020. Twenty volunteers aboard, as the crew brought the fresh water system back on line. Just a perfect spring day to be on the river.
Seventy-five years ago, USS JOHN Q ROBERTS (APD-94) was commissioned at the Charleston Navy Yard. ROBERTS was another one of the late war ships that arrived too late to the action. She honored John Quincy Roberts, who was born in Boaz, Alabama, on 2 September 1914. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Physical Education in 1939, and enlisted in the Naval Reserve on 14 October 1940. After undergoing flight training, he was commissioned Ensign on 27 September 1941. The pivotal Battle of Midway found Roberts attached to Scouting Squadron 6, aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6).
On 4 June 1942, Roberts pressed home an attack on the carrier KAGA, despite formidable opposition. Hit by flack, he managed to release his bomb before crashing into the ocean. He was declared missing in action on 5 June 1942, and presumed dead. For his heroism in this critical battle, Ens. Roberts was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Charleston Navy Yard, in South Carolina, laid down his namesake, USS JOHN Q ROBERTS, as the Rudderow class destroyer escort DE-235, on 15 November 1943. She was launched on 11 February 1944, and was sponsored by Mrs. Deany Roberts Garner, the mother of Ens. Roberts. The ship was reclassified APD-94 on 17 June 1944, and completed as a Crosley class high-speed transport. She was commissioned on 8 March 1945, with Lcdr. Robert N. Bavier, Jr., in command.
Following shakedown training in the Caribbean, JOHN Q ROBERTS underwent amphibious training in Hampton Roads during April. She then got underway from Norfolk to join the Pacific Fleet, sailing on 7 May. The ship arrived in Pearl Harbor on 31 May, and trained with underwater demolition team units, until proceeding to Leyte Gulf on 13 June.
In the weeks that followed, the ship escorted convoys and took part in fleet maneuvers in the Philippines, in preparation for the anticipated invasion of the Japanese home-islands.
With the war over, JOHN Q ROBERTS departed Leyte on 20 August, to escort a convoy to Okinawa. From there, she was engaged in escort duties between that island and Japan. The ship was at Yokosuka during the historic surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay, on 2 September.
She remained in Japan, transporting troops and administrative personnel, as well as carrying out occupation duties. After embarking returnees, she departed Nagoya on 17 December 1945, and steamed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor for San Pedro, where she arrived on 6 January 1946.
JOHN Q ROBERTS sailed on 25 January for Norfolk, and from there to Green Cove Springs, Florida, where she arrived on 17 March 1946. She decommissioned on 30 May 1946, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Next, she was sold for scrap on 29 December 1960, to B. F. Diamond Construction Co., Inc., in Savannah, Georgia. It should never be forgotten that had had the Allies decided to invade Japan, the fate of ships like USS JOHN Q. ROBERTS might have been very different.
Saturday, 7 March 2020. Twenty-one volunteers aboard. Spring is in the air, because Doug Tanner and the shipfitters began making preparations to bring fresh water back aboard. Tanner also made SOS for breakfast, and Cathy Wheat baked breaded chicken breast and ziti for lunch.
The weekend is here, and it's "Liberty Call!" This week, our port of call is Hong Kong. Life Archive photo. Have a great weekend.
The underway scenes look amazing. Maybe this will happen for USS Slater one day. The movie is based on the novel "The Good Shepherd" by C. S. Forester. The book does an excellent job of describing the stress of command, when under prolonged U-boat attack.
The only thing more dangerous than the front lines was the fight to get there. Screenplay by Tom Hanks inspired by actual events, Greyhound comes to theaters...
Open house, aboard USS TILLS (DE-748), at the South Boston Naval Annex, May 1958. NAVSOURCE photo by Richard Leonhardt. Anybody have their life changed by a childhood visit to a Navy ship?
Who's spent time in the upper handling room, passing 5"/38 projectiles? LIFE Archive photo by Thomas McAvoy. circa 1943.
Monday, 2 March, 2020. Seventeen volunteers aboard. By the afternoon, it was almost springlike. Most of the activity centered around the pilothouse and the flying bridge.
Seventy-five years ago today, on 1 March 1945, USS HAINES (DE-792) completed her conversion and became USS HAINES (APD-84). The ship honored Richard Alexander Haines, who was born in Haines Falls, New York, on 28 April 1903. He attended Tennessee Military Institute from 1921-1923, and studied at the Naval Academy for a time, before serving in the Coast Guard from 1928-1931. Haines was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve on 23 July 1941, and was assigned to the USS NEW ORLEANS (CA-32).
New Orleans suffered a devastating torpedo hit in the Battle of Tassafaronga, on 30 November 1942. Lieutenant Haines remained at his station to assist in controlling the damage, until overcome by asphyxiating gas generated by the explosion. Giving his life for his shipmates, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism.
The Buckley class, USS HAINES (DE-792), was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Shipbuilding Corp. in Orange, Texas, on 17 May 1943. She was launched on 26 August 1943, and was sponsored by Mrs. Mary V. Haines, the wife of the Lt. Haines. Then she was commissioned on 27 December 1943, with Lcdr. Elmer C. Powell in command. HAINES conducted shakedown training off of Bermuda, and received her final acceptance in February 1944.
She was tasked with escorting a Dutch submarine to the United States. Then she escorted a troop convoy to Panama and back. Next, she performed training roles, as a training ship at Norfolk, and as target towing ship at Quonset Point, RI, training pilots.
In May she was assigned to a Mediterranean convoy, leaving from New York and arriving at Casablanca on 7 June 1944. Returning to New York, HAINES again sailed for the Mediterranean, this time with a carrier task group, on 30 June 1944. The group paused at Malta before proceeding to Alexandria, Egypt, to guard against an Axis attack on that port.
Detached from the task group, HAINES next joined the vast armada that invaded southern France. Departing Naples on 13 August, she escorted troop transports to the assault area, and later acted as a screening ship for the gunfire support group offshore. HAINES continued her escort duties into September, as the Allied advance gained momentum, acting as an escort to a LST group ferrying supplies from Corsica to France.
HAINES completed her Mediterranean service on 1 November 1944, and sailed for the United States. She arrived at New York on 11 December, and immediately entered the Brooklyn Navy Yard for conversion into a high-speed transport. Completed on 1 March 1945, HAINES was redesignated APD-84. She then served for several months at Norfolk and in Chesapeake Bay, as a training ship for fast transport and destroyer escort crews.
HAINES sailed from Norfolk for the Panama Canal on 8 August 1945. She received word of the war's end while at Cristobal, in the Canal Zone. Then she proceeded to San Diego, and continued on to Pearl Harbor in early September.
HAINES was then designated to transport units of the Strategic Bombing Survey, and departed Guam for Japan on 2 October 1945. For the next 2 months, the ship stopped at various Japanese ports, while technicians and analysts from the survey gathered data on the effectiveness of the aerial bombardments. HAINES was detached from this duty at Guam, and departed that island on 6 December 1945, filled with returning Marines.
She arrived San Diego on 24 December 1945. Scheduled for deactivation, HAINES sailed for the East Coast, and arrived at Boston on 12 January 1946. She subsequently sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned on 29 April 1946, and went into reserve. HAINES was struck from the Navy List on 1 June 1960, and sold for scrap to North American Smelting Co., in Wilmington. Delaware, on 19 May 1961.
Saturday, 29 February 2020. Leap Day. Twenty-two volunteers aboard USS SLATER. Nobody started anything new, but we continued making progress on all the jobs that are currently underway.
The weekend is here, and it's "Liberty Call!" Unless, of course, you got yourself restricted. "Now hear this, all PALs and restricted men report to the duty Master at Arms, outside the Master at Arms Office." The rest of you have a great weekend. LIFE Archive photo by Robert Morse.
This "Throwback Thursday," we remember our shipmates. Each one of these bunk staps remembers one of our local regular volunteers from Albany and Manhattan, who has crossed the bar and is no longer with us. The Memorial was conceived and executed by volunteer Angelo Bracco.
Volunteer Mark Gardiner recently posted the first year and a half of SLATER SIGNALS to our website, starting with January, 1998. Scroll down, and you'll recognize many of the names who played critical roles in the early days of the project. https://ussslater.org/publications/signals.html
Preparing for seabag inspection, Great Lakes, 1940. LIFE Archive photo by Bernard Hoffman.
Nobody goes anywhere without these guys. Engineers, circa 1925, photographed aboard USS SINCLAIR (DD-275). Naval History and Heritage Command photo UA 467.01 from the James M. Agee Collection.
Monday, 24 February 2020. Twenty-one volunteers aboard on a beautiful spring like day. Work continued on the flying bridge, waveguide, and after officers country. Tanner made fried egg sandwiches for breakfast, and spaghetti and meat sauce for chow.
Seventy-five years ago, on 23 February 1945, three more Buckley class destroyer escorts were reclassified as high-speed transports. One of them was USS IRA JEFFERY (DE-63). This is her story.
The ship honored Ira Weil Jeffery, who was born in Minneapolis, on 8 March 1918. His parents, David and Carolyn, were born in Romania and Minnesota, respectively. His father worked as a wholesale jeweler. By 1940, Ira had graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business. He enlisted in the US Navy on August 30, 1940, for officer training. Commissioned an Ensign, he was assigned to serve on the battleship USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44), on 25 July 1941.
Ensign Jeffery was aboard CALIFORNIA on 7 December 1941, when she was struck by two Japanese torpedoes, disabling the ammunition hoists. Fox joined with a group of sailors to manually pass up the ammunition While so engaged, a Japanese bomb exploded on the second deck. Ensign Jeffery was one of 100 men killed on the CALIFORNIA. He was recognized by a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.
His namesake was USS IRA JEFFERY (DE-63), laid down as USS JEFFREY, on 13 February 1943 by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., in Hingham, Massachusetts. She was launched on 15 May 1943, and was sponsored by Mrs. D. C. Jeffery, the mother of Ensign Jeffery. The ship was renamed IRA JEFFERY on 29 July 1943; and commissioned on 15 August 1943, with Lt. Comdr. Robert A. Fitch in command.
IRA JEFFERY conducted shakedown training off of Bermuda, and in Casco Bay, Maine, before reporting to the Naval Torpedo Station, in Quonset, R.I., for experiments with noisemakers designed to counter the German acoustic torpedo. She then moved to New York, and departed on 5 November 1943 with her first Atlantic convoy. During the next year, she sailed with seven Atlantic troop convoys to Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
After her return to Charleston on 22 October 1944, IRA JEFFERY joined a large convoy of cranes, power plants, and tugs bound for the invasion ports of Europe. Homeward bound, she escorted LSTs returning to the States. On 20 December 1944, Ernst Hechler, commanding U-870, attacked the convoy. Hechler first torpedoed LST-359, which later sank, As USS FOGG (DE-57) responded to search for the U-boat, Hechler torpedoed her with a GNAT homing torpedo, severely damaging FOGG’s stern. Fifteen Sailors died in the blast. U-870 escaped.
Detailed to help FOGG were the US Army tugs USS LT-643, USS CHINABERRY (AN-61). FOGG was screened by USS LEE FOX (DE-65 and IRA JEFFERY (DE-63). The ships fought for two days to make it to the Azores. FOGG survived, and arrived in Boston on 9 March 1945.
IRA JEFFERY returned to the United States on 1 February 1945. Then the ship spent two weeks working with experimental mines in Chesapeake Bay. She entered the New York Naval Shipyard on 15 February for conversion to a high-speed transport, though not officially reclassified until 23 February 1945. After the installation of troop quarters, extensive alterations, and a five-inch gun, she emerged in May 1945 as APD-44.
She departed on 12 May for shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, prior to sailing for the Pacific. IRA JEFFERY then sailed on 25 May with new carrier ANTIETAM (CV-36), arriving at Pearl Harbor on 18 June 1945.
After training in Hawaiian waters, the ship returned to San Diego on 23 July, and began training with underwater demolition teams. She sailed on 16 August, 1 day after the war's end, for the forward areas, stopping at Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Manila. After demolition exercises in Lingayen Gulf, she sailed to Wakayama, Japan, where underwater demolition teams reconnoitered beaches prior to American occupation landings.
After the successful operation, IRA JEFFERY sailed for the United States, arriving San Diego 20 November 1945.
Then the ship sailed via the Panama Canal for the East Coast, and after her arrival in Philadelphia on 8 December, underwent repairs. IRA JEFFERY then sailed to Jacksonville, and decommissioned at Green Cove Springs on 18 June 1946.
She entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and remained there until struck from the Navy List on 1 June 1960. On 31 July 1962, she was sunk as a torpedo target by USS SENNET (SS 408), using an experimental Mk16 torpedo, 200 miles SE of Charleston, South Carolina, in 2821 feet of water.
NARA photo DE-63 80-G-235850 provided by Roger Torgeson.
Saturday, 22 February 2020.( 2-22-2020) Twenty-two volunteers aboard, on a day that was almost spring-like. All kinds of progress going on from the flying bridge. They really took advantage of the weather.
Friday night, and it's Liberty Call. Tonight we're spending time in a smoke filled Norfolk bar. Been there? LIFE Archive photo by Thomas McAvoy, circa 1943.
The old destroyer Navy ate family style, off of heavy porcelain in their berthing spaces. Mess cooks carried food from the galley in stacked metal tureens that clamped together. Cafeteria style messing was introduced to new destroyers staring around 1940. LIFE Archive photo.
White knuckle time, as USS O'BANNON (DDE-450) makes her approach. LIFE Archive photo by John Dominis.
Who's stood gun watch on a 3"/50 rapid fire? LIFE Archive photo by James Burke.
Monday, 17 February 2020. Only twelve volunteers made it in today, but they made a lot of progress. The weather seemed positively balmy, compared to what we've been through. Smitty served up chilidogs for chow. Thanks, as always, to Thomas Scian for the photos.
Seventy-five years ago today, on 16 February 1945, USS GOSSELIN (APD-126) cleared Norfolk, Virginia, bound for the Pacific via the Panama Canal. This high-speed transport honored Edward Webb Gosselin, who was born on 1 May 1917, at Hamden, Connecticut. He was educated at Yale University, before joining the Naval Reserve Officer Training program on 30 September 1940. Then he was commissioned on 14 March 1941. Ensign Gosselin's first duty station was on board the battleship, ARIZONA (BB-39), and he reported on board on 3 May 1941 as an engineer. When Arizona was sunk on 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Ensign Gosselin was officially declared dead as of that date.
His namesake was a CROSLEY class APD, that was originally laid down as a RUDDEROW class destroyer escort DE-710, on 17 February 1944. She was built by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company, in Bay City, Michigan. She was launched on 4 May 1944, and sponsored by Mrs. E. N. Gosselin, the mother of the late Ensign Gosselin. She was completed as a high-speed transport, and redesignated APD-126. USS GOSSELIN was commissioned on 31 December 1944, with Lcdr. Joseph B. Fyffe in command.
After shakedown in Bermuda and Chesapeake Bay waters, GOSSELIN headed for the Pacific war zone, touching at Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Ulithi. She arrived on 6 April, in the Okinawa, on the date of the first massed kamikaze attack. She was employed as a screening vessel until 10 April. Then GOSSELIN began convoy duty, which took her to Guam and Saipan, returning to Okinawa on 27 April.
From 27 April 1945 until the end of May, GOSSELIN was assigned at the Okinawa screen, protecting the invasion area, shooting down one Japanese plane, taking several others under fire, and rescuing a number of survivors and casualties from ships hit by suicide planes.
From 1 June 1945, GOSSELIN was in an upkeep status, mostly in Leyte Gulf, returning to Okinawa on 17 July, to form part of the reduced screen still being maintained. GOSSELIN departed Okinawa on 17 August 1945, in company with USS REEVES, to rendezvous with the Third Fleet, then cruising south of Honshu. Joining the fleet, she was assigned to carry part of a Naval Assault Battalion for the occupation of Yokosuka Naval Base. Later, that assignment was changed to a duty carrying press representatives and Navy photographers, during the initial entrance into Sagami Wan and Tokyo Bay.
GOSSELIN was one of the first groups of ships, including MISSOURI (BB-63) (Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr.), IOWA (BB-61) (Rear Adm. Badger), and H.M.S. DUKE OF YORK (Adm. Sir Bruce Fraser, RN) to enter Sagami Wan on 27 August. The next day, she accompanied the light cruiser, SAN DIEGO (CL-53), into Tokyo Bay to begin the occupation.
GOSSELIN was transferred on 29 August 1945, to the task group commanded by Como. Rodger W. Simpson, USN, assigned to liberate and evacuate prisoners of war (POW). That same day, her boats were the first to reach Omori Camp, from which the first men were evacuated, and brought out the first boatloads of freed POWs. On 27 September, GOSSELIN berthed in front of the Port Director's office, in Yokosuka, and served as a barracks ship for shore-based and transient men.
She remained there until 15 December, when she got underway for San Francisco, setting course via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor. GOSSELIN discharged her passengers at San Francisco on 28 December, three days after Christmas.
GOSSELIN remained in the United States until 22 August 1946, when she cleared San Diego with Navy and Marine replacements, bound for Yokosuka via Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok.
Discharging her passengers at Yokosuka on 13 December, GOSSELIN returned to San Diego on 16 November 1946. She operated out of there until 16 July 1948, when she departed again for the Orient. Arriving at Tsingtao, China, on 14 August 1948, GOSSELIN made that North China port her base of operations. She visited such ports as Shanghai and Nanking, and occasionally operated in the Yangtze River during American efforts to stabilize the situation in China.
GOSSELIN departed Shanghai on 18 February 1949, and reached San Diego on 11 March. She decommissioned there on 11 July 1949, and was placed in reserve. She lay berthed with the San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, until stricken from the Navy Register on 1 April 1964, and sold for scrapping on 23 March, 1965.
The photo shows USS GOSSELIN (APD-126) under way near her builders yard, DeFoe Shipyard in Bay City, Michigan. She is wearing camouflage Measure 31/20l. The vertical colors should be dull black, navy green, ocean green, haze green and brown.US National Archives, Photo # 19-LCM-APD126-1, courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, usndazzle.com, via Mike Green and NAVSOURCE.
Intersection Of Broadway And Quay Streets
USS SLATER is the last WWII destroyer escort afloat in America.
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when USS Slater posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to USS Slater:
During World War II, 563 Destroyer Escorts battled Nazi U-boats on The Old Navy lives here the North Atlantic protecting convoys of men and material. In the Pacific they stood in line to defend naval task forces from Japanese submarines and Kamikaze air attacks. Today, only one of these ships remains afloat in the United States, the USS SLATER.
Moored on the Hudson River in Albany, New York, the USS SLATER has undergone an extensive restoration that has returned the ship to her former glory. The museum offers hour-long guided tours, youth group overnight camping, and a historic location to hold naval reunions.
Open for Tours: April through November, Wednesday through Sunday, 10AM - 4PM