Dear USS DAVIDSON Shipmates,

As a former DE Sailor, we thought you might be interested in knowing more about the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum and our efforts to preserve USS SLATER as the last DE afloat in the United States. We recognize that some of you getting this email might already be members, and we thank you for your support. For the rest of you, please take a few minutes to look over our accomplishments, and follow some of the links at the bottom of the email. And then, give some thought to joining our effort and making USS SLATER your last DE.

The Newsletter of the USS SLATER's Volunteers
By Timothy C. Rizzuto, Executive Director

Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
USS Slater DE-766
PO Box 1926
Albany, NY 12201-1926

Phone (518) 431-1943, Fax 432-1123

We extend an invitation to you to join the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum located in Albany, New York. Our mission is the preservation of the history of destroyer escorts through the restoration and preservation of USS SLATER DE-766, the last DE afloat in the United States. This keeps alive the history, spirit and technology of these vessels and the men and women who built and manned them. The result is a better understanding of the significance of 20th century conflicts and their impact on today’s world.

The ship was located in Greece in 1993 as the last DE available for restoration. She had been transferred to the Greek Navy in 1951 under the military defense assistance program. The ship was donated to the Museum by the Greek Navy and DE veterans raised $290,000 to tow the stripped-out ship across the Atlantic in 1993. Now nearly fully-restored, USS SLATER is home ported on the Hudson River at Albany, New York and is enjoying great success as a living history museum, where the Sailors who took the destroyer escorts to sea can pass on their history and experiences to a new generation of Americans.

The volunteers have succeeded in restoring USS SLATER beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. The radars and plotting tables now glow in CIC. World War II transmitters spark in Radio Central, as antennas carry Morse code to other historic naval ships. All her guns train and elevate, and the brightwork is polished and oiled daily. Meals are again cooked in her galley and served on the messdecks. Decks are swept and swabbed. Weather decks are washed down weekly. Her new paintwork makes her shine like a new penny. Her radar rotates, signal flags flutter, and ventilators hum. The colors are raised every morning and lowered every evening. And, there is the distinctive smell of a warship; that mix of burnt metal, diesel oil, fresh paint, and bacon frying in the galley that never goes away.

As the World War II Sailors fade from the scene, younger sailors and civilians cross SLATER'S brow to take their place in the crew. Men and women who appreciate their heritage and who served on ships like attack carriers, fast frigates and nuclear submarines. Midshipmen from RPI, folks who served through the Cold War, in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. And we have many volunteers such as students, veterans from all branches, and people who never served. They are learning the old skills and passing on DE history to our visitors daily.

That all this has been accomplished by volunteers and funded through donations remains one of the most amazing facts about USS SLATER. The ship is open to the public April through November. The majority of our income comes from ticket and souvenir sales and donations by our 3,000 members. These members come from every U.S. state, plus England and Canada. Maintenance and interpretation is accomplished by our volunteers who donate an average of 15,000 hours a year. We host three volunteer work weeks a year where former Sailors come back aboard to maintain the ship and experience shipboard life. The Museum receives no regular Federal, State, or local government financial support.

The Museum also participates in and contributes to historical and patriotic projects. DEHM continues to carry out its original mandate of preserving the USS SLATER, as well as uncovering and publishing forgotten DE naval history. An active effort is ongoing to locate and acquire documentation and artifacts relating to all destroyer escorts. Currently, over four thousand items are accessioned, including photographs, books, logs, personal items, enemy battle remnants and various types of memorabilia. The collection is still growing. Additional items can be seen throughout the ship in the officers’ quarters, radio room, galley, sickbay, machine shop and other spaces to reveal how the ship was equipped when she was commissioned in 1944. USS SLATER has become what we intended, a virtual time capsule of Navy life in the 1940s, carrying the visitor back into history.

The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational corporation and has an absolute museum charter from the New York State Board of Regents. USS SLATER is a National Historic Landmark, representative of all Destroyer Escorts that have served. Our extensive website is one of the most complete sources of Destroyer Escort information in existence and contains links to all other DE-related websites.

We publish a monthly online newsletter about our activities here.

We also have a very active Facebook page here.

We also print a quarterly newsletter that isn't available online. A sample issue is here.

We hope that you will consider becoming part of our effort. The link to our membership form is here.

Thank you for your consideration.

Tim Rizzuto
Executive Director
Destroyer Escort Historical Museum/USS SLATER