The fantail was the rear or aft deck of the ship. Below the fantail are the two powerful 6 foot propellers that propel the ship and the large twin rudders used to steer the SLATER. The DEs were the first destroyer type vessels to have twin rudders to increase their maneuverability against submarines.
Spotted around the deck are ventilators, and bitts and chocks used to tie up any stern lines, and a towing padeye.
The small hatch, or scuttle, leads to the after steering engine room which houses a large hydraulic ram that moved the rudders in response to turning the ship's wheel in the pilot house. A large hatch leads to a crew berthing compartment or bunk room that held 75 men.
The most prominent features on the fantail are the twin depth charge racks. They could be controlled from either the flying bridge or locally and released a 300 pound or 600 pound depth charge.
Originally, DEs had two chemical smoke generators between the racks for laying down a covering smoke screen. Each of these consisted of four steel cylinders nested horizontally between the depth charge racks. These were later replaced by a diesel oil smoke generator located below deck due to the toxicity of the chemical smoke. The brass cap to the diesel tanks is still in place.
As one of the largest open areas on the ship, the fantail served as the main crew lounge for men who were not standing watch, the classroom for learning skills such as rope tying and the chapel for Sunday religious services - all weather permitting, of course. When the ship was underway a lookout was posted here, alert for men overboard.