During World War II, 563 Destroyer Escorts battled Nazi U-boats on the 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.
The USS Slater is at Cadell shipyard on Staten Island getting her mast rebuilt. This presentation by Barry Witte shows why the work is so important.
For those of you who are new to the project, we'd like to give you a little background. There have always been some comments about the use of "taxpayer funding." The fact is that, except for a few local grants, 95% of the $400,000 a year it takes to operate the Museum comes from admissions and donations. In 1993, the Veterans of the Destroyer Escort Association found the USS SLATER in Greece. She had been sold to the Greek Navy in 1951 and was awaiting scrapping.
The Greek Government agreed to donate the ship to the veterans and prepare it for tow, at no cost. The Veterans raised $300,000 to have the ship towed back from Greece, and she arrived in New York in 1993. Volunteers began to restore her, and have continued to work ever since. She is now considered one of the finest examples of Maritime Preservation in the country. That’s thanks to our volunteers who give an average of 15,000 hours a year.
Throughout the history of the project, we have been self-supporting. Half of our income comes from operations, and half from donations from our 2,500 nationwide donor base. All donors received our quarterly print newsletter, "Trim But Deadly," which features historical photos, articles, restoration updates, and donor acknowledgements. A sample edition can be found here
It is estimated that the shipyard work and tow will cost $700,000. The 2017 Maritime Heritage Grant matching grant was the first federal funding we have received. It will cover $200,000 of this work. Thus far, we have received $290,000 in matching donations, so we still need to raise $210,000 to fully fund the overhaul.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has eliminated admissions as a source of revenue. For now, we are totally dependent upon donations. So if you are impressed with what you see here, and what the volunteers have accomplished, you can click the donate button at the bottom of this page, or print this form, write a check, and mail it in.
We thank all of you for your enthusiasm and support. To all our new friends, welcome aboard, and thank you for your support! We hope to reopen in Albany in early August.
Not in drydock yet, but the scaffolding is going up.