|Ship Class||New York-class Battleship|
|Builder||Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA|
|Laid Down||17 Apr 1911|
|Launched||18 May 1912|
|Commissioned||18 Mar 1914|
|Decommissioned||21 Apr 1948|
|Displacement||27000 tons standard|
|Armament||10×14-in, 21x5-in, 4x3-lb, 4x21-in torpedo tubes|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Commissioned in 1914, the battleship Texas first saw action on 26 May 1914 off Veracruz, Mexico as she supported the US expedition that seized a custom house. She returned to the US on 8 Aug and joined the Atlantic Fleet on 6 Sep. She served a second tour off Mexico between Oct and Dec 1914. During WW1, she trained gunnery crews for service on merchant ships between Apr and Aug 1917, spent some time under repairs, then sailed for Britain on 30 Jan 1918. She joined Division 9/6th Battle Squadron of the Britain's Grand Fleet on 11 Feb at Scapa Flow, and performed convoy duties and a few sorties. On 20 Nov 1918, she sailed with the Grand Fleet to meet the surrendering German fleet. During the inter-war years, she became the first American battleship to carry an aircraft and then served in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In Jan 1928, she served as President Calvin Coolidge's ship to Havana, Cuba, for the Pan-American Conference.
When the European War began on 1 Sep 1939, Texas was the flagship of the Atlantic Squadron. She performed neutrality patrols and performed convoy missions for transports bound for Britain. After the United States was engaged in WW2, she patrolled and performed convoy missions all over the Atlantic, though she found herself bound for Britain most frequently.
On 23 Oct 1942, Texas set sail as a member of Task Group 34.8 for North Africa. She arrived at Port Lyautey in the morning of 8 Nov and engaged in bombardment in the afternoon of that day. She cruised along the Moroccan coast for the following week to offer gunfire support whenever needed. She used 273 rounds of her 14-inch ammunition and six rounds of her 5-inch ammunition during the week. She returned to the United States on 16 Nov and continued to perform convoy duties.
At the night of 5 Jun 1944, Texas sailed from southern England to support the Normandy landings the next morning. At about 0650 in the morning of 6 Jun, Texas was among the massive fleet that fired thousands of rounds at coastal fortifications, beach obstacles, and inland transportation junctions. In the morning of 7 Jun, her 14-inch main battery broke up German troop concentrations at Surrain and Trevieres; at that evening, she destroyed a mortar position that had been plaguing beach operations. In the morning of 8 Jun, she fired on Isingny and Trevieres. Between 11 and 15 Jun, she provided support for the advancing Allied forces. After the troops moved out of the range of her guns, she moved to Cherbourg with battleship Arkansas and bombarded fortifications surrounding the port city. A 280-mm shell from one of the Cherbourg coastal guns struck Texas at the fire control tower, kill one and wounding many on the bridge; some time later, a 240-mm armor piercing shell hit her on port bow, but it did not explode. Despite the two hits, she continued to fire her primary guns until she retired at 1600. She sailed to Plymouth, England, for repairs for damage received during the Normandy campaign.
On 15 Jul 1944, Texas departed Belfast Lough for Tunisia in preparation of an invasion of southern France. On 15 Aug, she arrived off St. Tropez during the night. At 0651 the next morning, she began the pre-landing bombardment on defensive fortifications. She remained in the immediate region for the following two days to provide support until the land troops marched past her range. She left the French coast on 16 Aug and returned to New York for repairs.
Three months later, Texas sailed for the Pacific. She reached Pearl Harbor in Dec 1944 and departed for Ulithi on 10 Feb 1945, where she prepared to support the invasion of Iwo Jima. She was one of the vessels that bombarded the island for nearly three days, and then remained in the waters nearby to provide gunfire support. She left Iwo Jima in late Feb and returned to Ulithi to prepare for the invasion of Okinawa. She fired shells from her main guns for six days with no answer from the shore; only aircraft attempted to interfere, but Texas escaped any harm. The ground troops attacked on 1 Apr, and the battleship remained for nearly two months to provide support.
In late May 1945, Texas retired to leyte where she lay at anchor when the war ended. On 23 Sep, she left Okinawa with troops for San Pedro, California, United States. She made three more round trips between Hawaii and California in 1945 to bring servicemen home.
Texas was decommissioned in 1948. She was towed to San Jacinto State Park where she became a museum ship. For more information, please see Dennis Mitchell's USS Texas BB-35 website.
USS Texas Operational Timeline
|18 Mar 1914||Texas was commissioned into service.|
|8 Oct 1943||USS Texas began escorting an Allied convoy from New York, New York, United States to Britain.|
|21 Apr 1948||The battleship USS Texas (BB-35) was taken over by the State of Texas to be preserved as a memorial in a specially-dredged canal in San Jacinto State Park, Texas, United States.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945