The USS Slater is a cannon destroyer escort ship that served the United States Navy for many years. It is named after a veteran named Frank Slater who was killed during a naval battle against Japan in World War II. The ship was built in 1943 in Tampa, Florida. The following year it was commissioned for war. The main role that the ship played in World War II was that of a sonar school ship and a target ship in the Florida Keys. (“USS Slater”) This meant that it was used to read the sonar of other ships in the surrounding area as well as helping support equipment on nearby ships. (“Navy Sonar”)
Towards the end of 1944 the USS Slater began escorting ships to the United Kingdom. The ship continued to escort ships this way until May of 1945. When the war ended on the European front the ship sailed through the Panama Canal into a port in San Diego. It traveled to Pearl Harbor, but was used widely as a Pacific coast support ship, much like it had in the Florida Keys. After World War II had officially ended and everyone had calmed, the USS Slater was placed into a reserve fleet in Florida. (“USS Slater”)
As the Cold War began to come to fruition President Harry S. Truman created an American foreign policy of containment of communism in Europe. This policy is known as the Truman Doctrine. The Truman Doctrine vowed to keep communism from spreading into Greece and Turkey. One way of doing this was aiding these countries so they would not need to turn to communism for help. This included military aid. (“Truman Doctrine”) In 1951 the USS Slater was removed from the reserve fleet and transferred to the Hellenic Navy of Greece. The ship was renamed Aekos, or Eagle in Greek. The ship became a part of a group of Canon class ships owned by the Greek known as The Wild Beasts. The ship patrolled eastern Greece for forty years.
In 1991 the Hellenic Navy decommissioned Aekos. Greece donated the ship to Destroyer Escort Sailors Association. Sailors from all over the United States raised about 250,000 to bring the USS Slater back to the United States as a museum ship. In 1993 a Russian tugboat towed the ship to New York City. It docked next to the famous USS Intrepid. Volunteers worked to restore it back to its former glory. A final destination for the USS Slater was chosen in 1998. The USS Slater was towed for one last time to the Port of Albany, New York. The following year the ship was added to the National Register of Historic places. (“USS Slater”) The ship remains in the Port of Albany to this day as a museum. Restoration has continued throughout the years to keep the ship in pristine shape for museumgoers. (“Maintaining A Museum Ship”)