Remembered Today:

Kitchener's Bugle

Battleship USS TEXAS - An ambition fulfilled!

41 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

Recently I was fortunate to tick off a long held "bucket list" ambition.

To visit the mighty USS Texas which is a museum ship at the San Jacinto State Park outside of Houston, Texas.

 

The Battleship USS Texas.jpg

Edited by Kitchener's Bugle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 2   Posted (edited)

USS Texas (BB-35), the second ship of the US Navy named in honor of the state of Texas, is a New York Class Battleship. The ship was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914.

She is the last Surviving Dreadnought.

 

Main Guns USS Texas.jpg

Edited by Kitchener's Bugle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soon after her commissioning, Texas saw action in Mexican waters following the "Tampico Incident" and made numerous sorties into the North Sea during WW1. When the United States formally entered WW2 in 1941, Texas escorted war convoys across the Atlantic, and later shelled Axis-held beaches for the North African Campaign and the Normandy Landings before being transferred to the Pacific Theatre late in 1944 to provide naval gunfire support during the battles of Iwo-Jima and Okinawa.

 

 

The USS Texas Bridge.jpg

USS Texas Superstructure.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 4   Posted (edited)

During the Great War, Texas's service with the Grand Fleet consisted entirely of convoy missions and occasional forays to reinforce the British squadron on blockade duty in the North Sea whenever German heavy units threatened. The fleet alternated between bases at Scapa Flow and at the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Texas began her mission five days after her arrival at Scapa Flow, when she sortied with the entire fleet to reinforce the 4th Battle Squadron, then on duty in the North Sea. She returned to Scapa Flow the next day and remained until 8 March 1918, when she put to sea on a convoy escort mission from which she returned on 13 March. Texas and her division mates entered the Firth of Forth on 12 April, but got underway again on the 17th to escort a convoy. The American battleships returned to base on 20 April. Four days later, Texas again stood out to sea to support the Second Battle Squadron the day after the German High Seas Fleet had sortied from Jade Bay toward the Norwegian coast to threaten an Allied convoy. Forward units caught sight of the retiring Germans on 25 April, but at such an extreme range, bringing the German fleet into engagement with the Grand Fleet was not possible. The Germans returned to their base that day, and the Grand Fleet, including Texas, did likewise on the next.

USS Texas - up Close.jpg

T1.jpg

Here are some interior Shots:-

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kitchener's Bugle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some interior Shots:-

 

 

USS Texas Bridge.jpg

USS Texas Interior.jpg

Texas Crew Quarters.jpg

Battleship USS Texas copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current main Armament :-

 

10 × 14 in (356 mm)/45 caliber guns

21 × 5 in (127 mm)/51 caliber guns

4 × 3-pounder 47 mm (1.85 in)/40 caliber saluting guns

2 × 1-pounder 37 mm (1.46 in) guns

4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (submerged)

Main Guns of the USS Texas.jpg

Heavy Anti Aircraft Guns aboard USS Texas.jpg

Down the Barrels copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 7   Posted (edited)

On 23 October 1942, Texas embarked upon her first major combat operation when she sortied with Task Group 34.8 (TG 34.8), the Northern Attack Group for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. The objective assigned to this group was Port Lyautey in French Morocco. The warships arrived off the assault beaches near the village of Mehedia early in the morning of 8 November and began preparations for the invasion. Texas transmitted Lt. General Dwight D. Eisenhower's first "Voice of Freedom" broadcast, asking the French not to oppose Allied landings on North Africa. When the troops went ashore, Texas did not go into action immediately to support them. At that point in the war, the doctrine of amphibious warfare was still embryonic. Many Army officers did not recognize the value of prelanding bombardments. Instead, the Army insisted upon attempting a landing by surprise. Texas entered the battle early in the afternoon when the Army requested her to fire upon a Vichy French Army ammunition dump near Port Lyautey. One more gunfire mission was provided on the 10th before the cease fire on 11 November. Thus, unlike in later operations, she expended only 273 rounds of 14-inc shells and 6 rounds of 5-inch shells. During her short stay, some of her crewmen went ashore to assist in salvaging some of the ships that had been sunk in the harbour. On 16 November, Texas departed North Africa for the East Coast of the United States in a task force along with Savannah, Sangamon, Kennebec, four transports, and seven destroyers

 

 

The Battleship Texas.jpg

 

 

Edited by Kitchener's Bugle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 8   Posted (edited)

Throughout 1943, Texas carried out the familiar role of convoy escort. With New York as her home port, she made numerous transatlantic voyages to such places as Casablanca and Gibraltar, as well as frequent visits to ports in the British Isles.

At 03:00 on 6 June 1944, Texas and the British cruiser Glasgow entered the Omaha Western fire support lane and into her initial firing position 12,000 yd (11,000 m) offshore near Pointe du Hoc at 04:41 as part of a combined total US-British flotilla of 702 ships, including seven battleships and five heavy cruisers. The initial bombardment commenced at 05:50, against the site of six 15-centimetre (6 in) guns, atop Pointe du Hoc.[11] When Texas ceased firing at the Pointe at 06:24, 255 14-inch shells had been fired in 34 minutes—an average rate of fire of 7.5 shells per minute, which was the longest sustained period of firing for Texas in World War II. While shells from the main guns were hitting Pointe du Hoc, the 5-inch guns were firing on the area leading up to Exit D-1, the route to get inland from western Omaha. At 06:26, Texas shifted her main battery gunfire to the western edge of Omaha Beach, around the town of Vierville. Meanwhile, her secondary battery went to work on another target on the western end of "Omaha" beach, a ravine laced with strong points to defend an exit road. Later, under control of airborne spotters, she moved her major-caliber fire inland to interdict enemy reinforcement activities and to destroy batteries and other strong points farther inland.

By noon, the assault on Omaha Beach was in danger of collapsing due to stronger than anticipated German resistance and the inability of the Allies to get needed armor and artillery units on the beach. In an effort to help the infantry fighting to take Omaha, some of the destroyers providing gunfire support closed near the shoreline, almost grounding themselves to fire on the Germans. Texas also closed to the shoreline; at 12:23, Texas closed to only 3,000 yd (2,700 m) from the water's edge, firing her main guns with very little elevation to clear the western exit D-1, in front of Vierville. Among other things, she fired upon snipers and machine gun nests hidden in a defile just off the beach. At the conclusion of that mission, the battleship attacked an enemy anti-aircraft battery located west of Vierville.

On 7 June, the battleship received word that the Ranger battalion at Pointe Du Hoc was still isolated from the rest of the invasion force with low ammunition and mounting casualties; in response, Texas obtained and filled two LCVPs with provisions and ammunition for the Rangers.

 


 

Heavy Shell from the Guns of USS Texas.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Kitchener's Bugle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the morning of 25 June Texas, in company with Arkansas, Nevada, four cruisers and eleven destroyers, closed in on the vital port of Cherbourg to suppress the fortifications and batteries surrounding the town while the US Army's VII Corps attacked the city from the rear. While en route to Cherbourg, the bombardment plan was changed and Task Group 129.2 (TG 129.2), built around Arkansas and Texas, was ordered to move 6 mi (9.7 km)[clarification needed] to the east of Cherbourg and engage the guns of Battery Hamburg, a large shore battery composed of four 24-centimetre (9 in) guns.[52][53][54] At 12:08, Arkansas was the first to fire at the German positions, while the German gunners waited for Arkansas and Texas to be well in range to return fire. At 12:33, Texas was straddled by three German shells; five minutes later Texas returned fire with a continuous stream of two-gun salvos. The battleship continued her firing runs in spite of shell geysers blossoming about her and difficulty spotting the targets because of smoke; however, the enemy gunners were just as stubborn and skilled. At 13:16, a German 24-cm shell skidded across the top of her conning tower, sheared the top of the fire control periscope off (the periscope remains fell back into the conning tower and wounded the gunnery officer and three others), hit the main support column of the navigation bridge and exploded. The explosion caused the deck of the pilot house above to be blown upwards approximately 4 ft (1.2 m), wrecked the interior of the pilot house, and wounded seven. Of the eleven total casualties from the German shell hit, only one man succumbed to his wounds—the helmsman on duty, Christen Christensen] Texas's commanding officer, Captain Baker, escaped unhurt and quickly had the bridge cleared. The warship herself continued to deliver her 14-inch shells in two-gun salvos and, in spite of damage and casualties, scored a direct hit that penetrated one of the heavily reinforced gun emplacements to destroy the gun inside at 13:35
 

 

Gateway to the USS Texas.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 10   Posted (edited)

She arrived off Iwo Jima on 16 February 1945, three days before the amphibious landings began. She spent just three days pounding the Japanese defenses on Iwo Jima in preparation for the landing of three Marine Corps Divisions. After the Marines stormed the beaches on 19 February, Texas switched to providing naval gunfire support for them. "On-call fire" in response to requests from Marine units continued through 21 February.

Though the island of Iwo Jima was not declared to be captured until 16 March, Texas departed from the Volcano Islands on 7 March,[64] and returned to Ulithi Atoll to prepare for the invasion of Okinawa (Operation Iceberg). She departed from Ulithi with Task Force 54, the gunfire support unit, on 21 March, and arrived in the Ryukyu Islands on the 26th. Texas moved in close to Okinawa and began her prelanding bombardment that same day. For the next six days, she fired multiple salvos from her main guns to prepare the way for several Army and Marine divisions to make their amphibious landings on 1 April.

Each evening, Texas retired from her bombardment position close to Okinawa, but returned the next morning to resume her bombardments. The enemy ashore, preparing for a defense-in-depth strategy as at Iwo Jima, made no answer. Only air units provided a response, as several kamikaze raids were sent to harass the bombardment group. Texas escaped damage during those attacks. On 1 April, after six days of aerial and naval bombardment, the ground troops went ashore, and for almost two months, Texas remained in Okinawan waters providing gunfire support for the troops and fending off the enemy aerial assault. In performing the latter mission, she claimed one kamikaze kill on her own and claimed three assists. On 14 May she departed Okinawa for the Philippines.

 

 

The USS Texas.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kitchener's Bugle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 17 April 1947, the Battleship Texas Commission was established by the Texas Legislature to care for the ship. The $225,000 necessary to pay for towing her from Baltimore to San Jacinto was the Commission's first task. On 17 March 1948, Texas began her journey to her new anchorage along the busy Houston Ship Channel near the San Jacinto Monument, at San Jacinto State Park, arriving on 20 April.

Texas was the first and oldest of the eight US battleships that became permanent floating museums.

 

 

USS Texas Plaque.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The location was chosen at it of the greatest historical importance for the state of Texas. The Ship is located adjacent to the final surrender and battle of General Santa Ann in the Texan Wars of Independence. Close by is the amazing San Jacinto Monument which commemorates this victory.

The Size and Scale of the San Jacinto Monument.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The view from the Top is impressive and shows the Location of the USS Texas in Berth.

 

Hope that you enjoyed the Photo's! :D

 

 

The USS Texas in Dock.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All very interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great photo's and write up, enjoyed them very much thanks good job!

 

Regards Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, it was very memorable indeed.

 

Thankfully the money has now been found to preserve her for future generations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Kitchener's Bugle said:

Thanks, it was very memorable indeed.

 

Thankfully the money has now been found to preserve her for future generations. 

 

That is reassuring - some part of the ship look like a rust bucket :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately she has been suffering Wexflyer  with numerous leaks over recent years ....as recent as 12 June 2017, a 6-by-8-inch hole about 15 feet below the waterline caused the ship to tilt six degrees to the starboard side. After emergency repairs, crews pumped out about 2,000 gallons of water per minute out of the ship for more than 15 hours

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon my ignorance, KB, but what differentiates the Dreadnought type from more modern battleships?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do I start Phil..............:D

 

Well back in 1906 when HMS Dreadnought was launched she made every other fighting ship in the world obsolete. Its entry into service represented such an advance in naval technology that its name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the "dreadnoughts", as well as the class of ships named after it.  Put simply it out gunned, out performed and was better armoured than anything that had come before it.

 

Super-dreadnought is not a clearly defined term, but is used to describe more modern dreadnoughts that were superior to their predecessors. They included the adoption of heavier calibre guns than the previously standard twelve-inch and the use of more advanced machinery to give higher speeds. The Queen Elizabeth class are often considered the first super-dreadnoughts because they combined all of the new technologies of the time to build a ship that was in many ways superior to all others.

 

The battlecruiser was very similar to the battleship except that it sacrificed armour for speed. The battlecruiser concept was that the ship would be fast enough to catch any other warship (such as cruisers) and then sink them using it's battleship sized armament from beyond enemy range.

 

The term 'battleship', on the other hand, was the generic term for the largest, most heavily gunned and heavily armoured warships throughout both the 19th and 20th Centuries. The difference in later Battleships to .the WW1 Era Dreadnoughts is that throughout the inter war period they where limited in size and power by Treaty. When the Gloves came off however you got ships that had no real restrictions other than being able to fit through the Panama and Suez Canals. So enter the Tirpitz class which was heavily gunned with 8x 15 Inch weapons, a huge amount of armour and incredibly powerful engines. Add to this the main difference a blistering array of AA Guns  which the initial Dreadnoughts did not have because there was no significant aerial threat.

When you look at the WW2 Built battleships like the King George the V Class or the Iowa Class they significantly trumped every WW1 Dreadnought across the Board. All WW1 Era and ships from the 1920's and early 30's had to have their air defences significantly upgraded just to be viable as that was the threat............. even with these without air cover they where essentially lame ducks. Look at the Yamato..... many times larger and more powerful than any Dreadnought and bristling with AA Guns but in the end easily sunk by air attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So is the classification is a bit loose in definition? Texas' 14" guns were not hors de categorie?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes a "loose" definition ..But Texas is most certainly within that category.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 23   Posted (edited)

The original Dreadnought was supposed to have firepower superior to any 2 of her predecessors. The term 'super dreadnought' may have been coined for the QE and R classes because their broadside was about equal to 2 dreadnoughts (the original could only fire 8 guns, not all 10, on one broadside because of the sided turrets). Broadside weight of metal didn't perhaps turn out to be as critical as was thought, but at that time it was generally believed  a key statistic. 

 

With her 10 x 14" guns on the centreline, Tex could throw a 15,000 lb broadside, only 504 lb short of a QE, so she probably should qualify as a super.

Edited by MikB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that differenced the Texas and her WW1 sisters from the later "fast battleships" of WW2 was speed. Any battleship that wasn't able to keep up with the fleet aircraft carriers was relegated to either convoy duty or shore bombardment platforms, both of which the older battleships did very well at. They just didn't have the speed of the newer post WW1 battleships but gave up very little in firepower and protection especially since they were continually upgraded, in armament, radar capabilities and fire control. Fire control is often one of the most overlooked areas when discussing battleship or any gun effectiveness. If you can't  hit the target you are aiming at it is an exercise in futility..Fortunately the USN saw fit to upgrade the older battleships capabilities when they went in for a refit. At the end of WW2 most of the older battleships had almost the same antiaircraft capabilities of the newest ones.   .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So a Dreadnought could be upgraded to an ex-Dreadnought?:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now