The USS Slater

USS Slater.jpg

The USS Slater at the Port of Albany

By Justin Williams

With the summer unofficially here and Memorial Day fast approaching, I got thinking about checking out the USS Slater. Yep, that's the "battleship" that's docked at the Port of Albany near the rooftop U-haul truck and the Dutch Apple.

It's been on my to do list for a while, and I finally got to it last week. I'm really glad I did.

Here's how it works:

First they show you a quick video on the history of the Slater. Turns out it's not an actual battleship, but what's called a "destroyer escort." About 500 of these were built during World War II to help protect the (much larger) battleships and aircraft carriers. There are only 2 left in the U.S., and the Slater is the only one in water.

Then there's the actual tour.

My tour guide was an ex-navy technician, who gives tours with the (crusty but lovable) ol' sailor's eye. He did a great job explaining the history of the vessel, and an even better job at explaining how it all worked and why there are so many types guns and explosives on board.

Don't bother going on a Monday or Tuesday-- all you'll see are volunteers painting and doing ship maintenance. For an all-volunteer operation, they've done a spectacular job
maintaining and running things.

The trip is especially worth checking out if you have kids-- though they should be at least five since you need to be relatively mobile to climb up and down ladders. None of the kids on my tour ever seemed bored, and they got to learn a little history.

The best part: it's a living museum. It doesn't feel the least bit touristy and you never feel like they're trying to make you donate more. There is a gift shop, but it's small and sensible.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for kids, and all the proceeds go toward the Slater's upkeep and repair.

All in all, definitely worth checking out.

Find It

The USS Slater
141 Broadway
Albany , NY 12202

Open to the public Wednesday-Saturday


Awww, I love the Slater!! It's seriously amazing to see, especially if you last saw it way back when they first brought her to Albany. They've done an incredible job refurbishing her. And, all the old men reliving their 20 year old wartime selves just warms my salty little heart.

you know...nothing says "Memorial Day" to me quite like the notion of the USS Slater...thanks for pointing it out!

My fiance and I took my father to see this on Veteran's Day a few years ago. My tour guide was a WWII veteran who served on a destroyer and fellows on the tour with us were veterans who also served on destroyers. Needless to say, when they took time from the tour to raise the flags and play taps I was a weeping mess. It took all my power not to hug every last little old man and thank them profusely.

The tour is fantastic, even if you aren't a history buff. By the way, groups of boy and girl scouts have sleepaway camps on the boat for badges and things so if anyone is interested to do that, call and check.

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