As the last Destroyer Es**rt afloat in America, the USS SLATER offers one hour tours of the ship. USS Slater DE 766 / HS Aetos D 01
Friday night and it's Liberty Call! This week, it's 1945, and we're drinking Schlitz beer with shipmates from USS DOYLE C. BARNES (DE-353). "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer." Photo donated by Pat Stephens. Have a great weekend!
Remember that smell, when you had the midwatch?
Wednesday, 29 November 2023. Today, Carlton Berthold, and a group of volunteers from Alpha Phi Omega fraternity reported aboard to help with with our winter preparations. They worked under the supervision of Walt Stuart and Thomas Scian and accomplished a lot more than we expected. Thank you all, and we hope to see you in the spring to take the covers off the guns.
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Monday, 27 November 2023. Our first day that we were closed for the season. Thank you to all our visitors and supporters who got us through the 2023 season. Serious winter preparations are now in progress. Turkey soup for chow, of course.
This USS SLATER offers free shipping on orders over $50 in our Ship's Store. https://ussslater.org/ships-store Use code CYBERMONDAY at checkout. Thank you for supporting us!
Eighty years ago today, the Buckley class destroyer es**rt, USS NEWMAN, was commissioned. She honored Laxton Gail Newman, who was born on 25 November 1916, in Crivitz, Wisconsin. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 23 April 1940. Following training at Great Lakes and Pensacola, he was assigned to Patrol Wing ONE, on 15 January 1941, and on 1 May 1941, was advanced to Aviation Machinist's Mate third class. Killed in action on 7 December 1941, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star "for prompt and efficient action and utter disregard of personal danger in the effort to repel the attack on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, by Japanese forces."
His namesake, USS NEWMAN (DE-205), was laid down by the Charleston South Carolina Navy Yard on 8 June 1943. She was launched on 9 August 1943, and was sponsored by Mrs. J. B. Newman, the mother of Laxton Newman. The ship was commissioned on 26 November 1943, with Lcdr. William Carl Meyer, USNR, in command.
Following shakedown off Bermuda, NEWMAN was assigned transatlantic es**rt duty. Between 11 February and 29 June 1944, she crossed the ocean six times. On 30 June, at Staten Island, she commenced conversion to a high-speed transport, reporting for shakedown in Chesapeake Bay as APD-59, on 19 September. At the end of the month, she departed Norfolk as flagship of TransDiv 103, and headed for the Pacific.
Arriving at Hollandia on 4 November, she es**rted supply convoys between that port and Leyte Gulf until 12 December. Then, at Leyte, she embarked troops of the 24th Division. Then she got underway for her first amphibious operation, the 15 December invasion of Mindoro. Landing her troops with the first waves, she turned back to Leyte, then proceeded to New Guinea, to prepare for the initial operations of 1945.
At Noemfoor, New Guinea, she took on troops of the 158th Regimental Combat Team and proceeded back to the Philippines. On the 11th, two days after the initial invasion of Luzon, she landed her troops on the Lingayen beaches under the cover of naval shore bombardment, then provided gunfire support until retiring to es**rt a convoy back to Leyte, arriving on 15 January. Assignments to amphibious landings, and their support now increased, as the momentum of the war in the Philippines picked up.
On 29 January, she participated in landings at San Felipe, Luzon; on the 30th, on Grande Island in Subic Bay; on 28 February, at Puerta Princessa, Palawan; on 10 March, at Zamboanga, Mindanao; on 26 March, at Talisay, Cebu; and on 17 April at Parang, Mindanao. In May she shifted to Morotai, and in June and July participated in landings in Borneo at Brunei Bay, on 10 June, and Balikpapan, on 1 July.
On 16 July, she departed the East Indies to return to the Philippines, arriving Leyte on the 18th and to Legaspi, Luzon, on 27th, where she conducted training exercises for combat teams until the end of the war. On 29 August she steamed to Okinawa, embarked units of the 24th Corps, Army Service Command, for transportation to Jinsen, Korea. On 8 September, she landed the occupation forces at Jinsen, and then commenced es**rt duty between Jinsen, Taku and the Philippines.
On 26 November, she departed the Far East en route to New York. Arriving there on 9 January 1946, she steamed south to Green Cove Springs, Florida, joining the inactive fleet there. She decommissioned on 18 February 1946. Later moved to Orange, Texas, NEWMAN remained a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, until struck from the Navy List in 1964. On 15 August 1966, her hulk was sold for scrapping to the Boston Metals Co., of Baltimore, Maryland.
NARA photo provided by Roger Torgeson showing USS NEWMAN as commissioned.
26 November 2023, the final tour day of the season. Cold temperatures fueled by a brisk wind kept everyone inside but a few brave folks ventured out to see the ship. Our three college interns were supported by three of our longest tenured tour guides Art, Chris, and Grant. Combined, those three guides have 68 years at the ship. It's going to be a long winter not seeing our tour guides but we look forward to Spring!
Today is and we would love it if you could ! Today only, you will receive a free 2024 calendar with any purchase in our Ship's Store or the renewal of your SLATER Membership.
Saturday, 25 November 2023. The last Saturday of the 2023 season. Despite the cold, we had a surprisingly large number of visitors. Your last chance to see the USS SLATER in 2023 will be tomorrow, Sunday, from 10-4. The volunteers will continue ship maintenance projects through the winter.
It's , and to celebrate, we are granting everyone who buys a SLATER t-shirt in our Ship's Store a free ticket to tour SLATER in 2024! The sale is valid for today only. Don't miss this deal!
These two dedicated tour guide volunteers just finished their 2023 tour season and are ready for liberty! Thanks to Carl, Tom, and all our volunteers for a great season!! There are only two tours days left, and then you'll have to wait until April 2024.
Celebrate and support USS SLATER! Buy a calendar and earn a free SLATER ornament. Sale is valid for one day only, don't wait!
Happy Thanksgiving from the SLATER/AETOS crew! We are extremely thankful for our dedicated staff, volunteers, and visitors that have made the 2023 season a success! We hope you are able spend the day surrounded by friends, family, and lots of tasty food!
Now hear this: the smoking lamp is lit in all authorized spaces. Grab your Briar or Corn Cob pipes and pull up a chair with the crew of USS CLARENCE L. EVANS (DE-113).
Tuesday, 21 November 2023. Eight volunteers aboard for clear skies and record cold. Chris was willing to provide lunch, but we canceled lunch, because everyone was off the ship by noon.
Monday, 20 November 2023. Fifteen volunteers aboard, in below freezing temperatures. Sunny but cold. All kinds of work going on, as we drained down the fresh water system in preparation for winter, tested the new air compressor, and worked on the MK-52 gun director on the flying bridge.
Eighty years ago today, the BUCKLEY class, USS WHITEHURST, was commissioned, a ship destined to have a long and varied career. She honored Henry Purefoy Whitehurst, Jr., born on 16 February 1920, in New Bern, North Carolina. He was appointed a midshipman on 14 July 1938, and, because of the exigencies of war, graduated with the Naval Academy's Class of 1942 on 19 December 1941. He reported to the heavy cruiser, ASTORIA (CA-34), on the morning of 18 January 1942, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Whitehurst served as a junior watch and division officer in Astoria, as that ship took part in the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, and Guadalcanal. A little after 0152 on the morning of 9 August, a Japanese force slipped undetected into the waters south of Savo Island, unleashing a devastating night attack on the cruisers. Three were sunk, but ASTORIA lingered on, while her surviving officers and men labored to save their ship. However, the damage proved too great; and ASTORIA, like her two sister ships, eventually succumbed shortly after noon on 9 August. Among the dead suffered in the Battle of Savo Island was Ensign Whitehurst.
His namesake, USS WHITEHURST (DE-634), was laid down on 21 March 1943, in San Francisco, by the Bethlehem Steel Company. The ship was launched on 5 September 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Robie S. Whitehurst, the mother of Ensign Whitehurst, and commissioned on 19 November 1943, with Lt. Comdr. James R. Grey in command.
WHITEHURST arrived in Pearl Harbor on 4 February 1944. Underway es**rting a convoy for the Solomons on the 7th, WHITEHURSE sailed via Majuro and Funafuti, and arrived on 23 February at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. While es**rting a refueling group on 26 March, an enemy plane appeared. All ships present, including WHITEHURST, opened fire, but scored no hits as the plane climbed upward and out of sight.
She also participated in the amphibious operation against Wakde Island, screening the amphibious ships. WHITEHURST, in company with other units of Task Unit (TU) 72.2.9, arrived off Biak on 28 May, for landings there. She received an urgent message from LCI-34, which had been taken under fire by Japanese shore batteries. WHITEHURST arrived on the scene in time to be shelled herself, but the enemy's rounds caused no damage to the ship.
WHITEHURST performed es**rt duties and trained through the summer of 1944. WHITEHURST, with Lt. Jack C. Horton, USNR, now in command, was placed in the screen of a group of fleet tankers slated to supply units of the 7th Fleet on its drive into the Philippines. On 27 October, a week after American troops had landed on Leyte, two enemy planes attacked WHITEHURST, but both were driven off by antiaircraft fire from the ship's guns.
Two days later, on 29 October, WHITEHURST received word that, on the previous day, EVERSOLE (DE-404) had been torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine. WHITEHURST, detached to conduct a search, soon picked up a contact. WHITEHURST pressed home a fourth depth charge attack, and in quick succession, five to seven explosions rumbled up from the depths. Another violent underwater burst soon followed, causing a concussion that damaged WHITEHURST's detecting gear. The Japanese submarine I-45, the one that had killed EVERSOLE, had been destroyed.
Nearly a month later, while es**rting a 12-ship convoy from Leyte to New Guinea, WHITEHURST came under attack by two Japanese "Lilly" medium bombers. One skimmed low and dropped a bomb that fell well clear of the ships. The second started a glide bombing attack, but WHITEHURST's guns shot that raider into the sea.
WHITEHURST spent the remainder of 1944 and the first few months of 1945 in es**rt operations between New Guinea and the Philippines. When the American landings on Okinawa commenced on 1 April 1945, WHITEHURST was among the many screening vessels. On 6 April, while on patrol station off Kerama Retto, the destroyer es**rt drove off an enemy plane that had attacked the cargo vessel SS PIERRE.
Taking up station on the 10th, early in the afternoon two days later, a low-flying enemy plane closed the ship, only to be driven off by WHITEHURST's gunfire. At 1430, four "Val" dive-bombers approached the area from the south, and one detached itself from the group and headed for WHITEHURST. It circled, and soon commenced a steep dive while two of its companions also commenced an attack, one from the starboard beam and one from astern.
The latter two planes spun down in flames, destroyed by antiaircraft fire, but the original attacker continued down, in spite of the 20-millimeter hits that tore at the plane. This "Val" crashed into the ship's forward superstructure on the port side of the pilot house, penetrating bulkheads and starting fires that enveloped the entire bridge. All the while, the plane's bomb continued through the ship and exploded some 50 feet off her starboard bow.
WHITEHURST circled, out of control, while VIGILANCE (AM-324), patrolling a nearby sector, rang up flank speed and raced toward the burning destroyer es**rt to render assistance. By the time VIGILANCE finally caught up with WHITEHURST, the destroyer es**rt's crew had put out the most serious fires; but the minesweeper proved invaluable in aiding the wounded. The prompt and efficient administering of first aid and the injection of plasma undoubtedly saved many lives. Twenty-one of the 23 wounded transferred to VIGILANCE were saved.
With a VILILANCE signalman on board, because WHITEHURST's signal bridge personnel had been decimated. The damaged destroyer es**rt limped into Kerama Retto for temporary patching. Seaworthy enough for a voyage to Hawaii, WHITEHURST reached Pearl Harbor on 10 May, and was docked for repairs and alterations.
Once the yard work had been completed and the ship had been converted to a floating power station, the ship supplied the city of Manila with power from August through October of 1945. WHITEHURST then supplied electrical power to the dredge YM-25 into 1946. Returning to the continental United States in April 1946, WHITEHURST was decommissioned on 27 November 1946, and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs.
As a result of the outbreak of war in Korea, WHITEHURST was recommissioned on 1 September 1950, and soon sailed for the Far East. The destroyer es**rt earned three battle stars for her activities during the Korean War. She remained in the Far East until 1955. WHITEHURST operated between Hawaii and Guam into 1956.
Departing Guam on 22 February for Yokosuka, Japan, the ship sailed via the northern Marianas, the Bonins, and the Volcano Islands.
She spent two weeks in Japanese waters before returning to Guam on 17 March. After a period of local operations out of Pearl Harbor, WHITEHURST underwent four weeks of upkeep and repairs, before beginning six weeks of duty with 20th Century Fox during the filming of the World War II adventure movie, "The Enemy Below." During that time, she portrayed the destroyer es**rt USS HAYNES.
Upon completion of the filming of the movie, WHITEHURST operated off Oahu until late in September, when she was ordered to Seattle for duty as training ship with the 13th Naval District.
On 6 December 1958, WHITEHURST was decommissioned and placed in an "in service" status as a unit of the Select Reserve ASW Force. Thereafter, into the 1960's, WHITEHURST cruised one weekend per month, and made one two-week cruises per year.
Recommissioned on 2 October 1961, as a result of the Berlin Crisis, the destroyer es**rt departed Seattle for her new home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After a period of training in the Hawaiian area, WHITEHURST departed Pearl Harbor on 10 February 1962, for a deployment to the Western Pacific (WestPac).
Returning to Seattle in on 17 July 1962, she was decommissioned on 1 August 1962, and placed in service as a Naval Reserve training ship. Then WHITEHURST resumed operations out of Seattle. During 1963, the ship received two major changes in her configuration, when her 40-millimeter mounts and ship-to-shore power reels, the latter items having enabled her to function as a floating power station, were removed.
Operating off the west coast, on 17 January 1965, while operating in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in dense fog, the WHITEHURST collided with the Norwegian freighter, SS HOYANGER. Both ships then ran aground in shallow water. The destroyer es**rt suffered a five-foot gash in her stern above the waterline, while the freighter got off with three feet of scraped bow plates. The following day, both ships were pulled off by tugs.
WHITEHURST continued to operate locally out of Seattle into 1967, and WHITEHURST's home port was shifted to Portland, Oregon. However, WHITEHURST's days were also numbered, and she, too, was soon deactivated. On 12 July 1969, the destroyer es**rt was taken out of service and struck from the Navy list. She was eventually taken to sea and sunk as a target by, TRIGGER (SS-564), on 28 April 1971.
A postwar view of WHITEHURST, with her distinctive cable reels on the 01 level amidships. .
Two big events happened today. The first is that our friends at the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) must not have been impressed with our old leaky West Bend coffee pot on Oxi Day. They donated a new coffee pot that is worthy of our new visitor center. Here, Austin is making the inaugural pot of coffee from our new coffee maker.
The other event was that Doug, Super Dave, Warren, and Gary got our "New to us" air compressor mounted and did the test run. Happily it runs smoothly and compresses air. We also had a lot of tours, but no pictures, no Facebook.
That coffee port would sure be a nice addition to the Chief's mess. Hmmm.
Friday night and it's Liberty Call! This week we're drinking beer on dungaree liberty at Coco Solo, in the Panama Canal Zone. Have a great weekend!
Sickbay aboard USS EDSALL (DE-129), 1943. If you get hurt, "Doc," will be there to fix you up. LIFE Archive photo by Dimitri Kessel.
Captain Maurice Browder, of USS SANGAMON (CVE-26), directing the transfer of wounded, that were rescued by USS COOLBAUGH to SANGAMON for medical treatment. NARA photo DE-217 80-G-291254. Photo sent by Roger Torgeson.
Tuesday, 14 November 2023. Ten volunteers aboard. Work continued on the watertight door, the air compressor, and wastage around the MK-52 gun director. And the crew actually got chow!
In conjunction with our current exhibition featuring marine art, join us this Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 pm for the lecture, “Proudly We Served: The Story of USS MASON (DE-529)” by John Epp, Curator of the USS Slater, Destroyer Es**rt Historical Museum. The USS Mason was one of two US Navy ships with a predominantly African-American crew in World War II. Included with Museum Admission.
Monday, 13 November 2023. Woke up to 23 degrees f. Glad we winterized the sewer line to shore. Fourteen volunteers aboard, doing a air compressor work, flying bridge preservation, and winter preparations. Thanks, as always, to Thomas Scian for the photos.
Today we remember the loss of the ship's namesake, Frank O. Slater, S2c and fourteen other sailors killed when a "Betty" bomber crashed into the after AA platform of USS SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38).
At approximately 1408 local time, nearly two dozen bombers attacked the American fleet at Guadalcanal. Aboard Frank's ship, AA gunners did their best to down the attacking planes before any torpedoes found their mark. After a hard turn to port to avoid a torpedo, an enemy bomber found itself in the sights of Frank Slater and others. They blazed away as the plane burst into flames and stayed at their stations until the very end. At 1416 the bomber crashed into the platform, instantly killing fifteen and wounding dozens more. However, their refusal to abandon their guns surely saved others.
The Navy Cross was awarded to each of the fifteen and most had a destroyer es**rt named in their honor. Frank's citation reads:
"For extraordinary heroism as a gunner aboard the USS SAN FRANCISCO during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area on November 12 and 13, 1942. Courageously refusing to abandon his gun in the face of an onrushing Japanese torpedo plane, SLATER, with cool determination and utter disregard for his own personal safety, kept blazing away until the hostile craft plunged out of the sky in a flaming dive and crashed on his station. His grim perseverance and relentless devotion to duty in the face of certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave up his life in the defense of his country."
Neil A. Carlson, AMM3c
William F. Cates, S2c
Harold J. Chatell, S1c
George R. Eisele, S2c
George I. Falgout, S2c
Andrew J. Gandy, S2c
Eugene F. George, S2c
Charles F. Greer, FC3c
Lt. (j.g.) Albert T. Harris
Harry J. Lowe, GM3c
Jackson K. Loy, GM3c
William T. Powell, GM2c
Frank O. Slater, S2c
Raymond L. Stolte, S2c
John L. Williamson, S1c
Saturday, 11 November 2023. We had a well attended Veterans Day Ceremony with the help of the USS Albany Division Sea Cadets, music from the Pitch Hitters, Dick Walker, Steve Long, and Cub Scouts from Pack 1701, who all participated in the ceremony.
Thanks to Albany County Executive, Dan McCoy, and Assembly member, John McDonald, who were both in attendance. Veterans were admitted free, and we had a great tour day following the ceremony.
Thank you to all who attended and participated.
Friday night and it's Liberty Call, for every one except Jake and the Sand Pebbles. Not a good time to be stationed in China. The rest of you, have a great Veterans Day weekend.
For our Greek friends, Chris Pappis sent us a great article that appeared in the National Herald about our Oxi Day Ceremony. The link us here.
ALBANY, NY – The historic Hudson River in Albany was the setting of a special event marking Greece’s heroic fight in World War II. The USS Slater commemorated the 83rd anniversary of ‘OXI’ Day on October 28. The USS Slater was built as Destroyer Es**rt #766 during WWII and served in the Unit...
Join us tomorrow, November 11th, for Veteran's Day aboard USS SLATER! Our ceremony will begin at 0900, and tours will begin at the conclusion of the ceremony. All Veterans will be offered a free tour of SLATER in celebration and gratitude for their service.
Ever load hedgehogs? They're heavier than you think, but they make it look easy. LIFE Archive photo by John Dominis.
Wednesday, 8 November 2023. The first tour day of the week. This afternoon, the Midshipmen of the RPI NROTC Unit visited SLATER for lessons in Naval History.
Tuesday, 7 November 2023. Thirteen volunteers aboard on what turned out to be a pretty nice day. The big news was that the Tuesday crew actually got lunch!
Join us this Saturday, November 11th, for Veteran's Day aboard USS SLATER! Our ceremony will begin at 0900, and tours will begin at the conclusion of the ceremony. All Veterans will be offered a free tour of SLATER in celebration and gratitude for their service.
Intersection Of Broadway And Quay Streets Albany, NY 12202
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A new episode of DE Classified is out today! This month we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of SLATER's arrival in Albany. Journey through the last 25 years of restoration with John in this recount of the history of USS SLATER's Volunteers. Listen to the episode on our website or download it wherever you get podcasts.
During World War II, 563 Destroyer Es**rts battled N**i 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