USS Slater

USS Slater 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.
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USS Slater DE 766 / HS Aetos D 01

Seventy-five years ago today, USS BROCK (APD-93) departed Leyte, escorting a convoy back to Okinawa. This is her history...
06/08/2020

Seventy-five years ago today, USS BROCK (APD-93) departed Leyte, escorting a convoy back to Okinawa. This is her history. John Wiley Brock was born on 15 August 1914, in New Brockton, Alabama. He enlisted in the Navy on 12 May 1936, at Birmingham. Promoted to aviation ordnanceman 3d class on 16 February 1938, Brock was transferred to Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6 soon afterward, on 15 April. He underwent flight training as a naval enlisted pilot (NAP). Then he rejoined VT-6 on 10 May 1940. Following detached duty, he ultimately reported to VT-6 for a third time, on 2 August 1941, serving aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6).

Commissioned an ensign on 21 April 1942, Brock took part in the Battle of Midway, on 4 June 1942. That morning, he took off from Enterprise (CV-6) in one of VT-6's 14 Douglas TBD-1s. VT-6 went in, unsupported by fighters or dive-bombers. Brock lifted the nose of his plane to bring his fixed machine gun to bear on an enemy fighter, only to be shot down moments later. His TBD-1 (6-T-14) crashed into the sea, and neither Brock nor his radio-gunner, Aviation Radioman 3d Class J. M. Blundell, survived. For his part in the "bold and heroic" attack carried out by VT-6 at Midway, Brock was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

His namesake was originally laid down as the Rudderow class destroyer escort USS BROCK (DE-234), on 27 October 1943, at the Charleston (S.C.) Navy Yard. She was launched on 20 January 1944, and was sponsored by Mrs. James W. Brock, the mother of Ens. Brock. The hull was reclassified a fast transport and redesignated APD-93 on 17 July 1944. She was commissioned on 9 February 1945, with Lcdr. Harrison H. Holton in command.

Following shakedown, the post-shakedown repairs, and alterations at the Norfolk Navy Yard, BROCK embarked passengers on 8 April. She then got underway, and transited the Panama Canal on 14 April. BROCK reached Pearl Harbor on 2 May, and soon thereafter conducted amphibious demolition exercises with an embarked underwater demolition team (UDT). On 12 May, BROCK sailed for the Marshall Islands in company with the old converted four-stacker USS KANE (APD-18), and on 24 May, BROCK dropped anchor. Her officers and men enjoyed liberty at Mog Mog before sailing for Leyte.

BROCK joined company with KANE, and sailed on 7 June to escort a convoy to Okinawa. There, BROCK drew duty on a screening station off of the southeastern coast of Okinawa. She operated in those waters until the 19th, when she switched to a station between Ie Shima and Okinawa proper. On the evening of 23 June, BROCK rescued a downed pilot. On the 26th, BROCK detected a "bogey" at 0113, 15 miles away and closing. As she tracked the intruder, BROCK's captain cut speed to five knots, to reduce her wake. The bogy was 1,000 yards off of the ship when he veered sharply toward her starboard quarter. BROCK's starboard 20mm and 40mm opened fire at the J4M "Jack" fighter. The "Jack" paralleled BROCK's until 1,500 yards ahead, when he went out of control and splashed.

On 1 July, BROCK departed Okinawa, bound for the Philippines, arriving at Leyte on 6 July. BROCK carried out local patrols for the remainder of the war. Winding up that duty late in August, the warship set course for Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, on the 20th and crossed the equator for the first time on the 23rd. Then her 33 "shellbacks" duly initiated nearly 200 "pollywogs," including the captain. She returned to Leyte on the last day of August. Underway on the 7th for Japan, she escorted 22 attack transports headed for occupation duty in Japan.

BROCK reached Tokyo Bay on 13 August. During the voyage back to Leyte, BROCK spotted and sank a mine ahead of the convoy. She entered drydock there on the 10th, and received a coat of haze gray over the "green dragon" camouflage that had become standard for her class. She remained on occupation duty until 15 December, when she sailed for the United States.

After stops at Nagoya, Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, and San Diego, BROCK reached San Pedro, Calif., on 10 January 1946. Following repairs and alterations, BROCK proceeded north to Boston. Arriving on 5 March, she then began a pre-inactivation overhaul. Arriving at Green Cove Springs, on 11 April, the ship joined the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

For the next year, BROCK served as one of the "mother ships," providing steam, power, messing, and berthing to various ships of the inactive fleet. Decommissioned on 5 May 1947, BROCK was placed in reserve on 4 June 1947, and remained there for nearly 13 years. On 1 June 1960, her name was struck from the Navy list, and she was sold to the government of Colombia in January 1962 for use as a floating power plant.

Saturday, 6 June 2020. The crew commemorated the 76th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion by grinding  down weld scars,...
06/07/2020

Saturday, 6 June 2020. The crew commemorated the 76th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion by grinding down weld scars, needle scaling decks, and pouring concrete.

And for those of you who want a peek behind the scenes, the latest edition of our online newsletter, SLATER SIGNALS, has been posted athttps://www.ussslater.org/publications/signals/vol-23/ss-23-05.pdf You might find some things you haven't read there!

The weekend is here and it's Liberty Call! Are we still social distancing?
06/06/2020

The weekend is here and it's Liberty Call! Are we still social distancing?

Thursday, 4 June 2020. While the USS SLATER volunteers continue ship's work, let us remember those who made the ultimate...
06/05/2020

Thursday, 4 June 2020. While the USS SLATER volunteers continue ship's work, let us remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice at the Battle of Midway. On this date in 1942, a small group of courageous airmen, flying off of three carriers, changed the course of the entire Pacific war at the Battle of Midway.

The squadron that sacrificed the most was Torpedo 8, flying off of USS HORNET CV-8. VT-8's first and best-known combat mission came during the Battle of Midway, on 4 June 1942. Flying the obsolete Douglas TBD Devastators, Commander John C. Waldron's 15 planes were all shot down during their unescorted torpedo attack on Japanese aircraft carriers. The squadron did not destroy any enemy aircraft with their defensive rear 30-caliber machine guns, nor did they damage any of the Japanese carriers. But their sacrifice paved the way for the successful dive bomber attacks that were to follow. Torpedo 8 was afterwards awarded the American Presidential Unit Citation.

A separate detachment of Torpedo 8 bombers, flying from Midway, was the first squadron equipped with Grumman's new TBF-1 Avenger. This was a bigger, faster, longer-ranged replacement for the TBD. When Hornet sailed to the Pacific, a detachment of the squadron, under the command of Lt. Harold "Swede" Larson, remained in Norfolk, Virginia, to receive the first shipment of the new aircraft. Larson's detachment arrived at Pearl Harbor the day after Hornet sailed for Midway. Six of the squadron's Avengers were flown to Midway under the command of Lt. Langdon K. Fieberling, to participate in the battle. These planes were the first Navy aircraft to attack the Japanese fleet that day. They attacked without fighter cover, and five of the Avengers were shot down, with only Ensign Albert K. Earnest and CDR (then Radioman 2/c) Harry Ferrier's surviving, on a badly shot-up plane with damaged controls and landing gear, and a dead rear-gunner.

Destroyer Escorts honored the following VT-8 airmen:

A list of the fallen flying from USS HORNET CV-8
Lt.(jg) Jeff D. Woodson
Ens. William W. Abercrombie
Ens. William W. Creamer
Ens. Henry R. Kenyon
Ens. Ulvert M. Moore

Pilots of VT-8's Avenger detachment lost: flying from Midwayi
Lt. Langdon K. Fieberling, Commanding
Ensign O.J. Gaynier
Ensign V.A. Lewis
Ensign C. E. Brannon

Let's not forget their sacrifice today.

"You'll get used to it. A little bearing grease with your sandwich never killed anyone." LIFE Archive photo by J. R. Eye...
06/04/2020

"You'll get used to it. A little bearing grease with your sandwich never killed anyone." LIFE Archive photo by J. R. Eyerman.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020. It looks like Tuesday may be the new Monday. Eight volunteers were aboard, and Tanner and Super Da...
06/02/2020

Tuesday, 2 June 2020. It looks like Tuesday may be the new Monday. Eight volunteers were aboard, and Tanner and Super Dave were back. Tanner fried up the first eggs and sausage for us since March 16th!

Monday, 1 June 2020. Moored as before,port side to, the Albany Snow Dock, Albany, New York. Taking all utilities from sh...
06/02/2020

Monday, 1 June 2020. Moored as before,port side to, the Albany Snow Dock, Albany, New York. Taking all utilities from shore.

After ten weeks of social distancing lockdown, this isn't really how it looks, but this is certainly how it feels.

Thank you all who continue to donate, to keep us afloat while we are closed to the public. If you want to help our morale, consider going to the home page at www.ussslater.org and hitting the donate button. We thank you all.

This “Remember a Ship Sunday,” we look back at the history of USS WALTER C. WANN, decommissioned 74 years ago today. His...
06/01/2020

This “Remember a Ship Sunday,” we look back at the history of USS WALTER C. WANN, decommissioned 74 years ago today. His namesake was Walter Carl Wann, Jr., who was born in Goldendale, Washington, on 13 May 1921. Wann enlisted in the Navy in Portland, Oregon, on 14 December 1939, and eventually received the rating of pharmacist's mate, 2d class (PhM2/c). While on duty with Marines, engaged in the attack on Gavutu and Tanambogo, Pharmacist's Mate Wann received the Silver Star medal for conspicuous gallantry and "intrepidity during action" on the night of 7 August 1942. Ignoring the enemy fire, and with complete disregard of his own life, he sprinted back and forth, carrying and rendering aid to wounded Marines. He remained attached to the Marine units in the Guadalcanal campaign, until killed in action on 4 November 1942.

WALTER C. WANN (DE-412) was laid down on 6 December 1943, in Houston, Texas, by the Brown Shipbuilding Company. She was then launched on 19 January 1944. WALTER C. WANN was sponsored by Mrs. Walter C. Wann, Sr., and commissioned on 2 May 1944, with Lcdr. John W. Stedman, Jr., USNR, in command.

Her shakedown was in the Caribbean, from 25 May to 23 June 1944. Following operations in the Caribbean, she transited the Panama Canal on 26 July, and reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet on the following day.From 21 to 30 September, the ship escorted a 16-vessel convoy from Pearl Harbor to Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, before proceeding on toward the Admiralties. On 12 October, WALTER C. WANN sortied in the screen of TG 77.4. This was the escort carrier group commanded by Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague, and nicknamed "Taffy Two," supporting American landings at Leyte, in the Philippine Islands.

Local combat air patrols protected the carriers as they launched their air strikes against Japanese positions on Leyte. Arriving back off of Samar on 25 October to commence the day's air strikes, TG 77.4 received reconnaissance reports indicating the closing presence of a large Japanese surface force. Then, by 0700, the northern carrier group, Taffy-3, was under attack.

WALTER C. WANN, with the southern carrier group, screened her charges as they launched all available aircraft while retiring to the southeast. By 0900, the enemy forces of three battleships, cruisers, and destroyers closed the southern group. On the horizon to the north could be seen pillars of smoke from the death struggle of the northern group. Then four groups of shell splashes suddenly erupted astern of WALTER C. WANN, as the enemy dropped in their heavy shells and groped for the range.

While the destroyers of the southern group prepared to make smoke and dash in, in a suicidal torpedo attack, WALTER C. WANN and her sister ships formed a circular screen around the highly vulnerable escort carriers. Air strikes and torpedo attacks had, by 1100, diverted the Japanese from the carriers. The range opened to 40 miles, thus ending the immediate threat to the southern group.

After retiring to the Admiralties, WALTER C. WANN anchored at Seeadler Harbor, on 3 November. WALTER C. WANN again came close to being damaged at Manus, on 10 November, when the ammunition ship, USS MOUNT HOOD (AE-10), blew up. WALTER C. WANN was 2,000 yards off of the doomed ship's port quarter. She was showered by debris from the exploding ammunition ship, but fortunately sustained only minimal damage, and none of her men were hurt.

Back on escort duty on 27 November, the destroyer escort screened Transport Division 10, on its voyage to Cape Gloucester, New Britain. She arrived at Borgen Bay on the 28th. Two days after Christmas, 1944, WALTER C. WANN got underway as part of the Lingayen Gulf Invasion. On 7 January, while the American force was in the Mindoro Strait, two "Oscars" attacked the force astern of WALTER C. WANN, at 1822. One dropped a bomb and was shot down by an LST, and the second attacked WALTER C. WANN, only to be driven off by antiaircraft fire.

The destroyer escort reached Lingayen Gulf on 9 January. She took station ahead as a control ship, anchoring off of Lingayen beach at 0737. While she lay anchored off of Lingayen, WALTER C. WANN provided antiaircraft fire, in attempts to repel Japanese suicide plane attacks. However, despite the intense antiaircraft fire, one plane succeeded in crashing into COLUMBIA (CL-56), some 1,500 yards ahead of the destroyer escort. At 1530, on 9 January, WALTER C. WANN got underway, moved in 1,800 more yards toward Lingayen, and dropped anchor off the town.

The destroyer escort got underway again, proceeding to Leyte Gulf. Her group was attacked by a single plane on 10 January, but drove off the attacker with gunfire. Two days later, the destroyer escort and JENKINS (DD-447) escorted KADASHAN BAY (CVE-76) to the inner harbor of San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and anchored there at 1957 on the 12th. She spent the 14th on antisubmarine patrol, before returning to her anchorage on the 15th for provisioning.

WALTER C. WANN conducted local operations and convoy escort missions, between Dutch New Guinea and Philippine waters, into the late winter of 1944 and 1945. She got underway on 27 March for Okinawa Shima, with the invasion force. On the morning of D-day, 1 April, WALTER C. WANN took an "Oscar" under fire, but the pilot commenced evasive maneuvers, and banked away from the ship.

For the remainder of her first week off of Okinawa and into the second, the ship observed considerable air raids, some taking heavy tolls on American light forces that were engaged in supporting the invasion of Okinawa.

On 12 April, at 1418, an Aichi "Val" began a suicide dive on WALTER C. WANN from the starboard side. At about 500 yards away, the dive-bomber faltered, pulled up slightly, and crossed the ship in a steep vertical bank, before crashing 20 feet off of the port bow. At 1500, a second attack occurred, with another "Val" streaking in for WALTER C. WANN. The destroyer escort's gunners set it afire; and, as it faltered, two American fighters shot the “Val” out of the sky.

WALTER C. WANN remained on patrol off of Okinawa until 14 April, when she sailed for Guam, escorting a convoy of transports. Arriving at Apra Harbor, Guam, on the 19th, WALTER C. WANN affected battle damage repairs until 6 May, when she sailed for Saipan, in the Marianas.

She next escorted a convoy in company with HEMMINGER (DE-746), arriving at Okinawa on 14 May. For the next several days, WALTER C. WANN was under frequent enemy air attacks. The destroyer escort remained on continual escort screening duty through June. On 4 July, WALTER C. WANN joined Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Force 32, for the operations in the Ryukyus and for the minesweeping operations underway in the East China Sea
WALTER C. WANN remained engaged in screening operations for the remainder of the war, and was at anchor in Buckner Bay when word of the Japanese surrender first came through.

During this time, the ship steamed to Wakayama, in Honshu, Japan, standing in readiness to render support for the landings there, should they be needed. WALTER C. WANN continued her support duties for the American occupation of Japan through the late fall of 1945. On 4 November, in company with CortDiv 69, the destroyer escort got underway from Yokosuka, bound via Pearl Harbor, for San Diego.

Assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet, WALTER C. WANN was placed out of commission, in reserve, at San Diego, Calif., on 31 May 1946. Her post-1946 records are sketchy. Some documents suggest that in November 1951, the ship may have joined reserve-training exercises, although she is officially listed as being "in reserve, out of commission."

The ship changed berths from San Diego, to Long Beach, and back to San Diego, from 23 June 1956 to 10 June 1958, and then to the Stockton Reserve Facility, near Mare Island, Vallejo. WALTER C. WANN was struck from the Navy list on 30 June 1968. She was acquired by the National Metal and Steel Co., of Terminal Island, California, in June 1969, and scrapped soon thereafter. NARA photo sent by Roger Torgeson

Saturday, 30 May 2020. As May draws to a close, we actually had ten volunteers aboard today. The crew is starting to ram...
05/31/2020

Saturday, 30 May 2020. As May draws to a close, we actually had ten volunteers aboard today. The crew is starting to ramp up again.

The weekend is here, and it's Liberty Call. But you know, with this whole covid-19 thing, I really don't mind having the...
05/30/2020

The weekend is here, and it's Liberty Call. But you know, with this whole covid-19 thing, I really don't mind having the weekend duty. Have a good weekend. LIFE Archive photo by John Dominis.

Thursday, 28 May 2020. Ship's work continues, with social distancing.
05/29/2020

Thursday, 28 May 2020. Ship's work continues, with social distancing.

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Intersection Of Broadway And Quay Streets
Albany, NY
12202

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USS SLATER is the last WWII destroyer escort afloat in America.

Telephone

(518) 431-1943

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Destroyer Escort Historical Museum

The Old Navy Lives Here

USS SLATER DE-766 A/T AETOS 01

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

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Comments

You guys need any of this?
The full Laurel and Hardy movie--Two Tars (1928) Inspired to learn more after seeing the latest Slater post, I found this. This may be antiquated, but, IMO, there are more than a few situations (and some historical footage) that remind me of a sailor's life during any period of American history. Admin, remove if necessary, but, boy--do we need some happiness now.
My late grand uncle, Reynold Alfano, served aboard the USS Cates as a radio operator. He passed away years ago, but is worth noting. CATES was a sister to the Slater.
Thank you very much for the badge. You have a great site it is a credit to you and the volunteers
USS Hopping, DE-155 was commissioned this day in 1943. My Dad, Louis F. Loutrel, Jr was the Exec. Officer and then very soon after sea trials was promoted to Skipper.
ALEXANDROS KASSIMIS AΕΤΟΣ 01 USS STALER 1989-1990 ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ ΥΠΑΞΙΩΜΑΤΙΚΟΣ GREECE NAVY
Thought I saw somewhere that challenge coins were available in the ship store. I cannot seem to find them though. Any insight on how to purchase? Thank you.
Hello from Austria, I'm following you and your ships history with great interest. I really hope to be able to visit the Slater in the near future on one of my next trips through the US, that is as soon as this crisis is hopefully a thing of the past. In the emantime I wish you all the strength and most of all health to carry on. I also enclose a picture ot the USS Brister, an Edsall class escort destroyer a model that I have build several years ago in the scale of 1:72, have fun with it.