USS Slater Commissioned 70 Years Ago
USS Slater's Log Book entry for May 1, 1944 states, "Moored starboard side to Lee Terminal, Tampa, Florida. Captain R.B. Daggett, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Tampa, representing the Commandant, Seventh Naval District, placed the ship in commission pursuant to orders from the Chief of Naval Operations. Lieutenant Commander Marcel J. Blancq, USNR, assumed command of the ship pursuant to orders."
It seems to be a very quiet beginning to a 70-year journey that has taken USS Slater around the world and to her home in Albany, New York. That journey has included convoy duty in the North Atlantic, while homeported in Brooklyn, to post-WWII occupation duty in the Pacific. It has included 40 years of service in Greece with the Hellenic Navy and her return to the United States.
Now, Slater is spending the 70th anniversary of her commissioning in drydock in Staten Island, where she is receiving an overhaul of her hull. The work, long overdue, is being done to ensure Slater will be here so that future generations may learn from the history, technology, and experiences of destroyer escorts and the men and women who built and sailed them.
The drydocking project is being funded privately by individuals and foundations. USS Slater is a National Historic Landmark but, like many Landmarks, is not funded by the Federal government. Donations to the project are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
It is hoped that Slater will return to Albany and be open to the public sometime in late May or early June. After the return, the ship will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through the end of November.