Grounding USS Texas (BB 35)

Battleship Texas will seek solid ground
Planners say removing it from the Ship Channel can preserve it for future generations

Back in December I noted a proposal to pull the battleship museum USS Texas out of the water to preserve her. She’s been a museum in LaPorte, TX, since 1948. Murdoc visited her in 2003.

The corrosive water surrounding the Texas at its berth at the confluence of the Houston Ship Channel and the San Jacinto River is eroding the underside of the ship that was the world’s most powerful warship when launched in 1912.

“We believe the best long-term preservation solution for the ship is to take the ship out of the water. That’s the direction we’re headed,” said Steve Whiston, director of the Infrastructure Division of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, which oversees the battleship.

The Texas is a cheap day of lot-o-fun. For five bucks [UPDATE: now $10, I’m told] you pretty much get the run of the ship. Much of it is closed off, of course, but there’s a full day’s worth of self-guided tours (the best kind, if you ask Murdoc) and a lot of helpful folks around willing (and eager) to answer questions.

In October, Murdoc is heading to Texas with the family and he’s hoping to check out one of the limited-admission Hard Hat Tours. If I’m able to, you can be sure you’ll have enough information about and pictures of the old battlewagon to make you throw up. There’s something to look forward to.

Anyway, the ship currently sits in the water but the hull is badly in need of scraping and repair.

Initially, officials thought the ship should again be taken to a shipyard and have repairs as in 1988. But the problem is that the Galveston shipyard used 18 years ago no longer is in business. The closest dry dock to accommodate the Texas is in Alabama, and officials fear the ship would not survive the journey across the Gulf of Mexico because the corroded hull would take on too much water.

Ward and others have visions of the USS Oklahoma, which sank in May 1947 while being towed from Hawaii to California for scrap[p]ing.

See the Houston Chronicle article for much more information. Check out the Texas sites, official and unofficial. And if you’re in the area, be sure to give the Tex a look. Tell them Murdoc sent you.

Comments

  1. you forget, the Wavemotion Gun was a side benifit of the engine. Retrofit the Wave motion engine first..the gun can be done once we get her underweigh. (goofy grin) God that brings back memories. I am such a geek. Now, a more ‘realistic’ retrofit was done in ‘The Ayes of Texas’. They stuck a pair of Magneto Hydrodynamic Drives in her and ran them off an attack sub nuke plant. That was a fun book.