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Destroyer Escort Sailors Association - DESA
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Albany, NY and the lure of touring USS SLATER DE-766 drew over 400 attendees to this years convention, 200 of whom were DE veterans.  In addition to the regularly scheduled events, 15 DEs held individual reunions during the convention. 

Bob Schwingen USS JAMES E. CRAIG DE 201
DESA welcomed 12 first-time attendees to Albany. 

Despite his limited mobility, DESA member Bob Schwingen, USS JAMES E. CRAIG DE-201, traveled alone from Kailua, Hawaii to attend his first convention!

 


Mr. Joseph "Joe" Walkuski, USS Heyliger DE 510, did not pre-register for the convention, but came in the  hopes of finding "at least one" of his shipmates.  To his surprise he found over 7 of his long lost friends.

 


Great tours were available for activity outside the hotel and were enjoyed by many conventioneers.  The hospitality room and hotel lobby were popular meeting spots from early morning to late at night.

The highlight of the convention was the Memorial Service held aboard USS SLATER DE-766.  Sponsored by CAP-DESA, the crewmembers of the 16 US and 17 British lost DEs were remembered, as well as all DE sailors who died in service and those who have sailed their final sea.

Following the service, DESA members had the opportunity to tour the ship.  Many DESA members came aboard with family and friends in tow to share their memories of life on a DE.  The SLATER Museum, located in the C-203L compartment, was a favorite place to visit.  Pat Perrella, volunteer Museum Curator, was on hand to personally guide each visitor in viewing the hundreds of outstanding DE artifacts and memorabilia.

Thursday nights banquet was very well attended and brought to a close the three days of convention events.  "Anchors Aweigh" was the final song of the evening and everyone bid their good-byes until next year.

For those of you unable to be with us, you were missed.  We hope you will be able to attend next year.

A special thank you to Al Gregg, USS Jaccard DE 355, for his assistance to the webmaster during the convention!  Also, a very special thank you to Eva Fox for her help.

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