March 05, 2012

At Gillibrand’s Urging, Feds Set to Designate USS Slater as National Historic Landmark At Gillibrand’s Urging, Feds Set to Designate USS Slater as National Historic Landmark

Gillibrand: Landmark Designation for WWII Naval Warship Could Boost Tourism, Economic Activity in Albany

Albany, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced today that the U.S. Department of the Interior is set to designate the USS Slater, one of the remaining World War II naval ships and only destroyer escort afloat in the United States, as a National Historic Landmark. Since last year, Senator Gillibrand has urged Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Ken Salazar and the National Park System (NPS) Advisory Board Landmarks Committee to designate the site as a National Historic Landmark. 

Senator Gillibrand said, “This is great news. Berthed in the Hudson River, the USS Slater is the only World War II-era destroyer escort afloat in the United States. This important landmark designation has the potential to greatly enhance tourism and economic activity in the surrounding area.”

“This is an exciting milestone for all of us associated with USS SLATER,” said Tim Rizzuto, Executive Director of the USS SLATER. “It represents the ultimate recognition for our volunteers who have put nineteen years and thousands of hours of working to preserve this historic ship.”

In her letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “The USS Slater played a prominent role in American naval strategy and operations during World War II and is the most well-preserved example of a destroyer escort in the world today… Restored officers’ quarters, artifacts, uniforms, and a complete set of signal flags help visitors to the ship gain a thorough and realistic understanding of what serving on this ship was like, as well as a better appreciation for the USS Slater’s enormous contributions to the victory of the Allied forces.”

The USS Slater was nominated by the National Park System Advisory Board Landmarks Committee, leaving Secretary Salazar’s approval the last step for the USS Slater to be designated a National Historic Landmark.

The designation would provide greatly needed resources to further preserve and maintain the USS Slater DE-766, which is docked on the Hudson River in Albany. The USS Slater, which served in the United States Navy fleet during World War II, has undergone an extensive 17-year restoration to its 1945 configuration. The ship is named after an Alabama sailor, Frank Slater, who was killed during World War II.