Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tour 9/29/2007, USS Burrows (DE-105)

Once again, another beautiful September Day. Great for tours. This Saturday we had our annual recognition award dinner for Slater Volunteers. At the same time the "Michigan Crew" also reported aboard for their semi-annual visit. For many years, the Michigan crew comes aboard twice a year to tackle different restoration projects. They do a great job and their help is greatly appreciated. I was a little surprised! After talking to a few members of the "Michigan crew" I found out that these volunteers weren't from "Michigan", but they were from Pennsylvania. I'm confused! Are there members of the "Michigan Crew" who aren't from Michigan? Or are there two crews, a "Michigan Crew" and a "Pennsylvanian Crew"? I'll talk with Tim Rizzuto (USS Slater Superintendent) for clarification.

The first tour of the day was loaded with a group of very enthusiastic kids. I must have answered a few hundred questions. I really didn't have to give a tour, but just walk to a part of the ship. As soon as I stopped, I was bombarded with a half a dozen questions. On the Bridge, I remember answering questions at three levels (based on the height of the child): one kid pointed to things at the three foot level and lower; another at the three to five foot level; and a third to things over the five foot level. Overall it was fun, and I think the parents were happy to have a Q&A respite.

The last group was a small one. Unfortunately, it started right near 4:00 pm. Since the USS Slater closes it's doors to the public at 5:00 pm, I had to keep to a strict timetable and talk fast. With a small group, that's able to navigate the ladders reasonably well, it's possible to do a complete tour in the time. I think I finished in exactly one hour.

At the start of almost every tour I try to ask if anyone is a navy vet, or if they knew anyone who was. One person noted that his dad served on the USS Burrows (DE-105). The interesting thing about the Burrows, is that it's a sister-ship (basically the same make and model) of the USS Slater. Not only was the Burrows a sister ship, but both ship's war record were very similar. Destroyer Escorts were organized into teams called Escort Divisions (in official Navy terminology - a cortdiv). DEs in the same cortdiv usually sailed in the same convoys and basically performed similar functions. The USS Slater and the USS Burrows were both members of cortdiv 35. More DE-105 photos here.

No comments: