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The Speaker's Bureau

The Speaker’s Bureau is a speaking/lecture series made up of veterans and historians. Our World War II veterans discuss their first-hand experiences in fighting the war, while our historians share amazing stories of bravery and courage uncovered through the process of researching the primary sources. Speakers are available to present to different groups; these speaking engagements can be scheduled by contacting our Museum Education Office.  Each program is 90 minutes.


Programs Offered:

Saving the SLATER
The USS SLATER DE766 is a CANNON class destroyer escort that served in the United States Navy during World War II.  One of 563 similar ships constructed between 1943 and 1945, the SLATER is the last destroyer escort remaining afloat in the United States today.  Destroyer escorts were built as a result of a critical shortage of anti-submarine vessels in the Atlantic and were a vital component of the Allied strategy for victory.  The USS SLATER served in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters during and immediately after the war. See the USS SLATER’s unique history and the ongoing massive restoration process as we return her to her 1945 configuration.  (90 minutes)

Heroes All Around Us: Destroyer Escorts and the Heroism of Ordinary Men During World War II
This program explores the fascinating history of destroyer escorts, the USS SLATER and the lives of three men who served in the United States Navy during World War II and who are tied in some way to these trim but deadly warships. The first is Frank Slater, killed in action at Guadalcanal and for whom the USS SLATER is named. The second, Leonard Roy Harmon, coming from different circumstances but finding himself serving alongside Frank Slater aboard the USS SAN FRANCISCO, also lost his life and would receive the posthumous distinction of being the first African American to have a ship named in his honor. Finally, the remarkable story of a destroyer escort, the USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS will be examined, highlighting the actions of Paul Henry Carr.