Good news for the Lone Star Battlewagon

The on-again/off-again attempt to repair the USS Texas (BB 35) memorial in LaPorte, TX, is now on again thanks to a $16.4 million allocation in the state budget:

A group of local state representatives, including State Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown), advocated the allocation, which will be used to repair the ship’s waterlogged frame and to permanently berth it on the land to prevent further damage.

“When I last saw the ship about a year ago, it needed a great deal of work,” Smith said. “It doesn’t have much to go before it might just sink where it is.”

This is great news. Murdoc’s visited the Texas twice, most recently last fall when I took the awesome Hard Hat Tour. See my coverage (with many pictures) here. The last hard Hat Tour of the season is on May 5th, so get over there and sign up.

“From the waterline down, she gets in rougher and rougher condition every year,” [Barry Ward, executive director of the non-profit Battleship Texas Foundation] said. “If you punched the hull really hard, you could probably put your hand through it.”

No DD(X) jokes. Those guys have enough trouble already.

Here’s a pic I took in 2003:

Meanwhile, no one has solved either of Murdoc’s mysteries. I thought for sure that someone would know which ships the Texas’ oil-fired boilers had originally been built for. Come on, readers! Get with the program!

Previous coverage of proposals to pull the battleship out of the water is here and here.


  1. I don’t know, but I would guess the boilers may have been for USS Washington, which was later sunk as a target.

  2. Mikey: You could be right. I’m not sure if the boilers for that Washington were installed (or maybe later removed?) before she was sunk. Incidentally, that Washington (a Colorado-class BB) would have replaced the Texas in the fleet had she not been cancelled due to the post-WW1 naval treaties. Also incidentally, the Texas helped sink her. My guess is that the boilers probably had been built for either the Washington, a South Dakota class BB, or a Lexington-class CC.

  3. I’m not sure if enough of the South Dakota or Lexington class were advanced enough in construction to have boilers that were already built. The Washington would have been, and boilers were traditionally installed after a ship was launched. Since Washington was sufficiently advanced to be launched and used as a target, then the boilers may have been built and were waiting for installation when the London Treaty was signed and construction halted.