Archive for February 17th, 2014

History: Battleship Texas

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Historic image of Battleship Texas

Historic image of Battleship Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Moored in a slip at San Jacinto Battleground and State Historic site, Battleship TEXAS is impressive. Yet, looks alone don’t tell the whole story of this 100 year old military dreadnought.

05— When it was commissioned in 1914, it was the most powerful weapon on the face of the planet.

Andy Smith oversees the care of the ship, which boasts many firsts.

26—It was the first US Battleship to launch an airplane; the first US Battleship to get RADAR; the first to get anti-aircraft guns. It’s just amazing the amount of technological advances that occurred. When this ship first launched, they used kite balloons; so, basically [it was] a big old blimp that they strung from the end of the ship – and they used that to observe. By the time she was ready for decommissioning they were starting to use remote control

The ship saw action in both world wars, and earned the nickname “Lucky T”. During its more than 30 years of service, it was struck only twice by enemy fire; Helmsman, Chris Christiansen, was the sole casualty.

03—So it’s a pretty lucky ship when you think about it.

It was lucky in more ways than one. After WWII the US Military had a surplus of “machines of war.” The Navy offered namesake ships to their respective states and they scraped the rest.

18— Texans –being Texans – were the only ones that wanted their namesake ship; so, Texans raised the money to bring the Texas to San Jacinto Battleground. And it was decommissioned as a US Navy ship, and re-commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy at San Jacinto Battleground on April 21, 1948.

Where, today, it is a museum open to visitors.

That’s our show for today .. Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram for Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.