Special Event Station Set Aboard USS Slater
Special Event Station Aboard USS Slater to Mark Memorial Day Observance
Local Amateur Radio Club to Reach Out Across America and the World on May 28th
Albany, New York – A Special Event Amateur Radio Station will operate aboard the USS Slater on Sunday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day by members of the East Greenbush Amateur Radio Association (EGARA). The Slater, a museum ship docked at Albany, New York, is the last Destroyer Escort still afloat and restored to her original wartime configuration.
Special Event Stations are used by Amateur Radio operators to mark significant events and seek to make contact with other operators throughout the world. Confirmed contacts are then eligible to be sent a “QSL” card which documents the contact. The Special Event Station will use the Slater’s call sign, WW2DEM.
Members of the radio club will use voice and Morse Code modes to make the contacts, and employ the Slater’s vintage World War Two-era shipboard transmitter during the event. More recent equipment will also be used, allowing operation on two Amateur Radio bands simultaneously. Operations are planned for the 80, 40 and 20 meter radio bands, providing the potential to contact other Amateur Radio stations across the United States and Canada, as well as stations overseas.
The station will operate from 8 am to 4 pm. Frequencies expected to be used will be on or near:
3885 khz AM/SSB,
7062 khz CW/SSB,
7262 khz SSB,
14062 khz CW/SSB, and
14262 khz SSB.
“Our Amateur Radio club is pleased to be able to partner with the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum to honor both our veterans, as well as the Slater itself,” said EGARA President Bryan Jackson, W2RBJ. “We hope our Special Event station will bring attention to the ship and the service the Destroyer Escorts provided to protect convoys from enemy submarines as they helped to safely transport critically needed troops and supplies across the Atlantic and the Pacific during World War Two.”
The USS Slater -- DE-766 -- is a “CANNON” class destroyer and one of 563 similar ships constructed between 1943 and 1945. Destroyer Escorts were built as a result of a critical shortage of anti-submarine vessels in the Atlantic at the outset of World War II. At the request of the British Navy, American designers developed a new type of warship, based on the British “HUNT” class destroyer, which combined heavy anti-submarine and anti-aircraft weapons with the latest electronic equipment for detecting enemy vessels. In addition, Destroyer Escorts were designed to be maneuverable, high speed, long ranged vessels that could be built quickly due to their all-welded construction.
In 1944, the Slater was assigned to Atlantic convoy duty. Following the Allied victory in Europe, the ship was sent to the Pacific for further convoy duty. The Slater remained on duty in the Philippines after the war’s end, before she was decommissioned in May of 1947. In 1951, she was transferred to the Hellenic Navy. The Slater was renamed AETOS and remained in Greek service until 1991, when it was transferred back to the United States under the care of the Destroyer Escort Historical Foundation and moved to her permanent home in Albany to serve as a museum ship.
Note: Confirmed contacts may request a Special Event QSL card by sending a #10 business size self-addressed, stamped envelope to EGARA, 983 Sterling Ridge Drive, Rensselear, New York 12144.