The Tampa Shipbuilding Company in Tampa, Florida laid the keel of the USS SLATER on 9 March 1943. The ship was launched on 20 February 1944, sponsored and christened by Mrs. James L. Slater, Frank Slater's mother. The SLATER was commissioned on 1 May 1944 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Marcel J. Blancq in command.
After its shakedown cruise in June 1944, the SLATER was ordered to Norfolk to deliver a torpedo captured from the German U-boat 505. The SLATER completed its shakedown cruise off Bermuda on 25 June and sailed to Boston for post-shakedown availability. It then sailed for Key West, Florida, on 11 July, where the ship acted as a target ship for torpedo plane squadrons and as a sonar school ship until departing for New York on 15 September. The escort moved to Portland, Maine, for training and returned to New York on 3 October. Operating out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the SLATER was then assigned Atlantic convoy duty for the remainder of 1944 and into the spring of 1945. USS SLATER escorted two convoys to England during the remaining months of 1944. From January to May1945, the ship escorted three convoys to Wales.
As the Battle of the Atlantic drew to a conclusion, the SLATER underwent modifications to its armament in preparation for battling a new threat in the Pacific Theater, where the menace of kamikaze aircraft was taking a heavy toll on US and Allied vessels. Following an overhaul at Brooklyn in which the SLATER received augmentation of her antiaircraft armament in preparation for the invasion of Japan, the escort sailed from New York for San Diego via Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Panama. It transited the canal on 28 June and arrived at San Diego on 6 July. Three days later, the ship sailed for Pearl Harbor.
The SLATER's arrival in the Pacific coincided with the dropping of the atomic bombs and the Japanese surrender. The ship was routed to the Philippine Islands via Eniwetok, where it joined Task Unit 33.2.4 at Manila on 5 September and escorted it to Yokohama, Japan. The SLATER picked up another convoy there and returned to Manila on the 21 September. During the remainder of the year, the SLATER escorted convoys to Japan and to the Caroline Islands. The ship operated in the Philippine Islands until 31 January 1946 when it sailed for the United States.
The SLATER arrived at San Pedro, California, on 24 February 1946 and received orders routing it to Norfolk, via the Canal Zone, for inactivation. The ship arrived there on 26 March and prepared for decommissioning. On 25 April 1946, the SLATER sailed for Green Cove Springs, Florida, for its final berthing place. However, the ship was towed to Charleston, South Carolina, on 13 February 1947 and, in May, back to Green Cove Springs, where it was placed in reserve, out of commission.
See the Ship's Log for the complete war record and images.
See the WWII Crew list featuring more images of the ship and crew members.