State Budget Includes $25M to Preserve the Battleship Texas

Battleship Texas
AP Photo/Michael Graczyk

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed the current state budget that includes $25 million for the continuation of structural repairs for the Battleship Texas, BB-35, located at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds.

According to Battleship Texas Foundation‘s director Ted Hirtz and Andy Smith, ship manager of the Battleship Texas, the Battleship Texas is the last dreadnought which fought in World War I and World War II. Her keel was laid in 1911 and she was commissioned in 1914. She had ten 14-inch guns that could fire projectiles weighing over 1,500 pounds, 12 to 13 miles. She also boasted 21 five-inch guns.  She originally hosted a crew of 1,042 officers and men. In World War II, her crew had grown to 1,810 men.

Battleship Texas suffered only a few combat fatalities in the two World Wars despite appearing at several of the most storied battles of the Second World War. She played a part in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Later she traveled to the Pacific to fight at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

The ship boasts many historic firsts. In 1916, Battleship Texas became the first U.S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns. She was also the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers. These early analog computers increased firing accuracy. In 1939 she was one of the first ships mounted with RADAR.

Decommissioned in 1948, she became a monument belonging to the state of Texas. Today, she receives more than 100,000 visitors, including schoolchildren who spend the night on board, annually.


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