History of the USS Texas BB-35
USS Texas (BB-35) is a museum ship and former United States Navy New York-class battleship. She was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914.
Texas served in Mexican waters following the "Tampico Incident" but saw no action there, and made numerous sorties into the North Sea during World War I without engaging the enemy, though she did fire in anger for the first time when shooting medium-caliber guns at supposed submarines (no evidence exists that suggests these were anything more than waves). In World War II, Texas escorted war convoys across the Atlantic and later shelled Vichy French forces in the North African Landings and German-held beaches in 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. She was the only Allied battleship that took part in all four of these amphibious landings. Texas was decommissioned in 1948, having earned a total of five battle stars for service in World War II. At the end of August 2022 she was moved to a dry dock in Galveston, Texas to undergo a $35 million dollar repair project. As of February 2023 the repair project is underway. When completed she will head to a yet unknown location for future tours.
Texas was also a technological testbed: the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first US warship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers, the first US battleship to launch an aircraft, and one of the first US Navy warships to receive production radar.
Texas was the first US battleship to become a permanent museum ship. In 1976 she became the first battleship to be declared a US National Historic Landmark, and is the only remaining World War I era dreadnought battleship. She is also one of the eight remaining ships and the only remaining capital ship to have served in both World Wars.Texas is owned by the people of Texas and is officially under the jurisdiction of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Everyday operations and maintenance of Texas has been handled by the non-profit organization Battleship Texas Foundation since August 2020. As of March 2023, Texas has been dry docked for repairs.
Texas the Museum Ship
On 31 August 2022, Texas was towed out of her berth to a floating dry dock at Gulf Copper Dry Dock & Rig Repair in Galveston, Texas for repairs. The journey took four tugboats pulling the ship 40 miles (64 kilometres) through the Houston Ship Channel and ended at around 4 pm.
Once repairs are complete, the Battleship Texas Foundation intends to berth the ship at a different city; Galveston and many other Texas cities are interested but in March 2023 Baytown and Beaumont were told by the foundation that they are no longer considered. As part of the conditions for receiving the $35 million from the Texas government Texas can only be berthed in the upper coast region of Texas after she is repaired. This means any part of the Texas coastline from the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge to the Louisiana border. Texas also received a matching $35 million federal grant from the United States government for her repairs. This $70 million can only be used to repair the battleship and cannot be used on cosmetic-related maintenance like replacing the wooden deck and painting the ship. Also, infrastructure-related projects for the new homeport such as the parking lot or museum buildings cannot be paid for by these funds.
Texas was the first and oldest of the eight US battleships that became permanent floating museums; the other battleships honored in this way are Massachusetts, Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Texas is also one of the oldest surviving modern naval ships, having turned 100 years old on 12 March 2014.