ALBANY N.Y. (NEWS10) — In celebration of the Coast Guard’s 232nd birthday, volunteers with the USS Slater and Coast Guard veterans took a moment to remember their history.
“Today we honor the 30 Coast Guard-manned destroyer escorts of World War II,” Richard Walker, Coast Guard veteran, said. “Each escort helped keep the U-boats at bay, ultimately ensuring the timely arrival of personnel, food and military cargos to their destination.”
The USS Slater floats in the port of Albany. First launched in 1944, the ship was used in World War II, the U.S. Navy and Greek Navy until it was decommissioned in 1991 and brought to Albany in 1997.
It’s the only floating destroyer in the country and now, it’s a local landmark that helps give us a closer look at the history behind the Coast Guard including volunteer auxiliary members who conduct rescue operations, navigation assistance and provide resources to the Coast Guard to this day.
“We provide a line of team handling here in Albany, just south of us, assisting the Coast Guard vessels when they call on the port of Albany,” Gary Slusher, Division Commander for Division 15 Upper Hudson U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, said.
Richard Walker has been a member and volunteer with the Coast Guard for over 50 years. He sees Saturday’s ceremony and the USS Slater on the Hudson as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices made by men and women of the Coast Guard from the very beginning.
“There is no glory in war. We are glorifying sacrifice and the willingness of people to put their lives on the line for the better good,” Walker said.