Located in Lancaster, New York, the Destroyer Historical Museum aims to preserve and display the massive ship – the USS Slater – as an educational tool regarding the naval history of World War II. Visitors can expect to experience a first-class educational tour of the USS Slater and subsequent interactive displays containing historical artifacts from the US Navy during World War II.
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History of the Museum:
The Destroyer Escort Sailors Association and its Board of Directors decided in 1993 that it was time to establish a special organization to preserve and utilize the USS Slater for educational purposes. Since that time, the USS Slater and the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum has aimed to instill the rich history, technology, and spirit of this vessel and those who manned it during World War II and post-WWII.
Through preservation of the USS Slater – which has been declared a National Historic Landmark – and the composition of interactive, educational displays, the United States Navy is well-represented. Various artifacts, documents, technology, and equipment from WWII and post-WWII are on display for visitors to enjoy and explore.
History of the USS Slater:
This epic war ship was one of 563 similar ships which were a part of the US Navy fleet during World War II. This ship was originally built by request of the British Navy to carry the increased production of anti-submarine ships and anti-aircraft weapons.
The USS Slater and ships like it could carry these heavy weapons, travel at high speed, travel long distances and be easily maneuverable. They were a vital part of the Allied strategy which ultimately won the Atlantic. The USS Slater served in WWII until 1951 until it was transferred to Greek service where is was renamed the AETOS.
It resided there until 1991 when it was finally transferred back to the US and underwent a terribly long restoration process. It was then dubbed a National Historic Landmark and is currently the last destroyer escort ship still floating in the United States.
The collection of the UUS Slater and the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum contains mainly US Naval artifacts, technology, and documents from the WWII and post-WWII era. One major highlight of the collection includes a letter dated 1942 to Daniel A. Joy, who was killed in Guadalcanal while providing aid to wounded soldiers. He was memorialized through the naming of the ship – the USS Daniel A. Joy.
Much of the collection can be viewed online, to access the archives and special collections, visit the online collections portion of the website here.
There are no special upcoming events, however, it is possible to book special events such as overnight camping, scouting events, and reunions at the USS Slater.
Overnight Camping:This exciting program allows visitors to stay onboard the USS Slater overnight while learning about the difficulties and sacrifices it takes to live on a ship out at sea. This program will make visitors feel as though they have stepped back in time and will gain the epic experience of living on a war ship during war time. Food is included but visitors are asked to bring their own sleeping bag and pillow as they embark on their day in the life of a sailor.
Scouting Programs:Both boy and girl scouts are invited to earn their merit badges aboard the USS Slater. The following merit badges may be earned: American Heritage Project, Radio Merit Badge, Bugling, and Citizenship in the World. Various ceremonies and graduations can also be held aboard the ship, including the ceremonial hoisting of the flag.
Reunions:Crew members of the USS Slater are often brought together onboard the ship for reunions and memorial services. Depending on the event, visitors are welcome to come and meet the past crew of the USS Slater.
The USS Slater and the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum offers a variety of tours and special programs for visitors of all ages. Whether it’s a tour of the ship or a guided tour around the museum and its exhibitions, there are plenty of options.
There are also many other educational activities and programs hosted year-round at the museum, including internship and volunteer programs, lectures series, interactive activities for younger visitors, access to the collections and research area, as well as access to the digital resources and an online tour of the ship.
The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, Broadway and Quay, Albany, NY 12202, Phone: 518-431-1943