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For more about Destroyer Escorts, visit the USS SLATER's website at www.ussslater.org. USS SLATER is the only restored WWII DE afloat in America.

John in Philly

Good film.
Apparently the part of the film that shows the snipes was left on the cutting room floor.
When I was on the Hawkins, a couple of DEs were being decommissioned down the pier, I went on board one of them for a look around, but I do not remember the name or hull number. This would have been in '73 or '74. I think that they still had the hedgehog mounts, but that memory is from a long time ago, and should not be taken as gospel.

When I was on the Willy R., she made a cruise to Bermuda. I paused the film at being on liberty and walking along the streets of Bermuda and I found the same location on Google streetiew. Some of the building are still there.

A longer story would involve our XO driving his moped off of the pier into the water after he had joined a group of enlisted sailors in an impromptu moped race. (think Ben Hur but without the horses)

For more about the Buckley class, I suggest watching "The Enemy Below."


If you were in NorVA in late 73 and went aboard a DE being decommissioned, there were only 3 being Decommed in that time period there, Hammerburg (DE-1015), Courtney (DE-1021) and Lester (DE-1022). They were of the former CortRon 8 and had been converted to pull an ITASS noodle about 1970 and sent to Naples. they were nearly the last of the Dealey class that was first put into service in the early 50s. There were at most 2 left. I was on the Courtney "Plank Burning" crew.

Originally carrying "Weapon Alpha" a kinda, sorta ASROC, they mounts were removed when the weapon was obsolete. Since the ship was designed to carry the weight of the mount, the keel started buckling in the area of the keel that used to carry the weight of the mount. All three ships were undergoing an INSURV inspection in the spring of 1973 when the buckling was discovered. The inspections were halted and the team contacted BuShips for a decision and the decision was an almost immediate decommissioning.

We left Naples at the end of September 1973, spent 4 days in Rota, Spain upon outchop to turn in NATO pubs. After about 4 hours at sea we were almost recalled because of the Yom Kuppur war, but were told to proceed to NorVA for decom.

December they were decommissioned and the following June and July the ships were sold and stricken.


The Buckleys were less than half the size of LCS, and carried 3x 3-inch/50 caliber rifles, a 1.1in (or twin 40mm), eight 20mm, trainable hedgehog, eight depth charge mortars, and triple torp tubes.

LCS has a 57mm gun. Because anything else is too heavy.


Don't forget the JOHN C BUTLER and RUDDEROWs, that had 2X 5/38s, and twin 40's fore and aft.

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