Important Dates for TEXAS
"Come on, Texas!"
USS TEXAS (BB-35)
USS Texas (BB-35), the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the US state of Texas, is a New York-class battleship. The ship was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914.
Soon after her commissioning, Texas saw action in Mexican waters following the "Tampico Incident" and made numerous sorties into the North Sea during World War I.
When the United States formally entered World War II in 1941, Texas escorted war convoys across the Atlantic, and later shelled Axis-held beaches for the North African campaign and the Normandy Landings before being transferred to the Pacific Theater late in 1944 to provide naval gunfire support during the Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Texas was decommissioned in 1948, having earned a total of five battle stars for service in World War II, and is now a museum ship near Houston, Texas.
Among the world's remaining battleships, Texas is notable for being the only remaining World War I-era dreadnought battleship, though she is not the oldest surviving battleship, as Mikasa, a pre-dreadnought battleship ordered in 1898, by the Imperial Japanese Navy, is older. Nor is she the oldest steel ship still in existence as HMS Warrior, the world's first all-steel warship has been restored and is available for viewing.
In addition, Constitution, Constellation and HMS Victory, launched in 1765, Nelson's flagship at The Battle of Trafalgar, are all wooden warships older than Texas. Texas is also noteworthy for being one of only seven remaining ships, and the only remaining capital ship, to have served in both World Wars.
Among US-built battleships, Texas is notable for her sizable number of firsts: the first US Navy vessel to house a permanently assigned contingent of US Marines, the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first US ship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today's computers), the first US battleship to launch an aircraft, from a platform on Turret 2, one of the first to receive the CXAM-1 version of CXAM production radar in the US Navy, the first US battleship to become a permanent museum ship, and the first battleship declared to be a US National Historic Landmark.
Current plans have been set to build a dry berth around the ship to help prevent further deterioration on the historic ship.
A recent update published by the Battleship Texas Foundation.
Operation Full Steam Ahead, the final phase of repairs, cleaning and safety upgrades to Battleship TEXAS’s third deck, concluded Saturday, January 5.
To commemorate the grand re-opening, the Battleship Texas State Historic Site hosted a ribbon cutting by ship manager Andy Smith with special guests Mr. Darwin Harris and his son Ron Alan Harris along with Shanda Perkins from the San Jacinto Advisory Committee and her husband Lance Perkins. Mr. Harris served aboard the TEXAS from 1943-1946 as a Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Petty Officer. In honor of the ship’s 104th “berth” year, the first 104 people were granted free admission. The program began at 8:45 am with visitors lining up as early as 7:30 a.m. to get their hand stamped receive their free ticket, along with a piece of salvaged steel from the ship.
For the first time in more than two years, visitors were able to tour the ship’s engine room, machine shop, brig, ammunition passageway and radio room, all of which have been closed for major structural repairs.
The first round of critical structural repairs to the Battleship Texas began in 2013 when the support structure under the ship’s Engine Room and areas of the stern were addressed. The project was completed in January 2015. Later that year, the Texas Legislature allocated $25 million for the second phase of structural repairs, which in-cluded the steering gear room, D-13 trimming tank, rear emergency diesel generator room, dynamo condenser room, and miscellaneous tanks, trunks and storerooms. This phase of repair work was completed in September 2018. With both phases complete, majority of the most deteriorated structural elements of Battleship Texas behind the boiler rooms have been addressed. The only remaining critical structural repairs will be the framing beneath the boiler rooms. Neither of the structural repair projects, however, have addressed the fragile state of the ship’s hull. Permanent repairs to the hull can only be accomplished with the ship out of water in a permanent dry berth.
In other restoration news, while the 2018/2019 holiday season slowed the restoration team, the succeeding cold weather did not. The work in the Combat Information Center (CIC) is moving along with a good tempo. As reported earlier, the compartment itself; that is the “box” consisting of the bulkheads, overhead, deck, frames, etc., has been completed. For the past quarter a lot of equipment (switches, status lights, speakers, various communications modules, etc.) have been restored to a like new condition. Much more is to be done, most specifically the major fixtures of plotting tables, radios and radar repeater and switchgear. Nevertheless, this has been an exciting and profitable six months of hard work. Work continues on the aft 40mm guns. Clearly, in this case the weather has been something of a controlling factor and has affected the progress of the team, yet, progress continues to be made.