AUTHORIZED: June 24, 1910;                 LAID DOWN: April 17, 1911;                  LAUNCHED: May 18, 1912; COMMISSIONED: March 12, 1914       RECOMMISSIONED IN THE TEXAS NAVY; April 21, 1948

LENGTH: 573 feet (175 m);     BEAM: 95.5 feet (29 m)(1914), 106 feet (1945)
28.5 feet (8.7 m);  DISPLACEMENT: 27,000 tons (1914); 30,350 tons (1945) standard
Ten 14 inch/45 cal;    twenty-one 5"/51 cal;    four 21 inch submerged torpedo tubes (1914)
              ten 14 inch/45 cal; six 5"/51 cal; ten 3"/50 cal; forty 40mm; fortyfour 20mm (1945)

Belt 10-12 inches; CT 12 inch; turrets 14" face
2 shaft 4 cylinder vertical triple expansion engines. The United States Navy had used turbines for the preceding Arkansas and Utah class battleships. Builders of turbines in the US refused to adopt Navy Department standards and the USN ordered the older triple expansion engines for TEXAS, NEW YORK and OKLAHOMA of the following class to show that the Navy would have turbines built to their specifications or else they wouldn't use turbines. NEVADA sister of OKLAHOMA did use turbines as turbine manufacturers finally saw things the Navy way.

     USS Texas BB-35 is at the San Jacento Battlefield in La Porte, Texas, a southeast suburb of Houston. I spent a very enjoyable August morning visiting the only surviving first generation dreadnought in the world. She was laid down only six years after HMS Dreadnought. Texas, as part of the 6th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, escorted the German High Seas Fleet to internment at Firth of Forth in November 1918. On June 6, 1944 she was flagship of the Allied bombardment force and provided fire support for Omaha Beach on D-Day. In February 1945 she was at Iwo Jima and in April 1945 she bombarded Okinawa.
     I was fortunate to be allowed to see some of the interior of the ship that had not yet been restored, the area locked off from the restored area. Most people would not have fun going up and down escape trunks by flashlight, but I couldn't ask for anything more. In the armature room some the parts had tags dated 1914. One compartment still had a posted hand lettered sign that stated, "Do not hang your wash here to dry."  Thanks for the tour, Walt.
     Although I have previously visited USS Alabama and USS North Carolina, I found my visit to Texas more enjoyable to those of her younger, larger and sleeker sisters. The interiors of the triple 16" gun turrets of the later battleships are excessively spacious in comparison to the claustrophobic interiors of the double 14" gun turrets of Texas. What really grabs you is the tripod foremast with the classic Pearl Harbor battleship fighting top. Half of the battleships at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 carried an almost identical foremast, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Nevada.
     You will notice that USS Texas is lacking some of its AA fit. Some 40mm mounts are missing and quite a few 20mm mounts have still not been refitted. None of the twelve 20 mm guns on B and X turrets are in place, although the shielding is present. Two 40mm mounts (amidships on both sides) lacks the original splinter shield. There is no catapult on Q turret. It seems that the Battleship Texas Foundation can get these items from the USN from Norfolk at no expense but has to pay for railroad shipping, which can be substantial for items as big as a 40mm mount. The Foundation does not have the funds available to do a complete refit.
     If you visit the Houston area, SEE AND SUPPORT THIS PART OF HISTORY. The fee to visit her is only $5.00 and she can be visited throughout the year at 3527 Battleground Road, La Porte, Texas 77571.
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MASTS: The classic tripod with fighting top.
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GUNS: First fourteen inch gun dreadnought in the world.
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HULL, DECK AND INTERIOR: Last photo is of unrestored passageway
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