Only one destroyer escort afloat is left in this country,
out of the 563 that were originally built to defeat the German U-boats in World War II.
It only makes sense to do everything possible to ensure the long-term survival of such a rare artifact.
Over the past ten years, the members of the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum have been doing just that, as a lasting memorial to the 150,000 sailors and marines who served on these heroic little ships.
In that time, these individuals have put more than a million dollars of their own money and 200,000 volumeer hours into a ship that they have come to love.
The destroyer’s restoration work is done largely by a group of men and women-average age is sevenry-five.
With their labor, time, and money, they have taken a rusry hulk and transformed it into one of the premier historic naval ships in the country.
In the late 1980s, a movement began within the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association to secure a destroyer escort for posteriry-before it was too late.
By that time, the only available DEs were in Foreign Service.
After several attempts, DESA found the ex-USS Slater DE 766, which was serving the Greek Navy as HNS AETOS FOl.
Following a year-lo ng series of negotiations through the State Department,
the Greek Navy agreed to donate the ship to DESA,
and the veterans raised from their membership the $290,000 needed to pay for the expense of bringing the ship to New York Ciry.
Initially, she was berthed as part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum from 1993 to 1997.
When the Intrepid Museum’s management decided to downsize, Slater had to find a new home.
The Ciry of Albany offered a safe haven, donated pier space, and an enthusiastic corps of volumeers and supporters.
From a visitor’s viewpoint, USS Slater’s cosmetic restoration is 100% complete,
and the ship looks ready in all respects to get underway.
Having accomplished this feat, the museum now is searching fo r funds to accomplish the one task the volunteers cannot accomplish on their own,
shipyard dry-docking of ship.
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