The most iconic water-borne symbol of World War I and World War II in Texas moved on August 31 from its home at the San Jacinto Battleground Site for much-needed restoration.
Battleship Texas left its current home to Galveston’s Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corporation facilities for repairs to its hull. Fans and history buffs assembled as early as 5:30 am to watch the ship disconnect, swing, and attach to its tug craft.
Anticipating national curiosity, the Battleship Texas Foundation had set up livestreaming via the official Facebook page or YouTube channel. Those interested can review hourly status and updates here.
For years, the legendary dreadnought, which was built in 1910, has been carefully addressed. Tackling the massive amount of water leaking into the ship, companies BTF, Resolve, and Valkor worked for six months to drastically reduce the leak rate from 2,000 gallons per minute to under 20 gallons per minute, making the ship significantly safer to tow.
Notably, the Battleship Texas Foundation hand-picked the Gulf Copper shipyard in Galveston specifically due to the company’s recent acquisition of a floating drydock that is capable of lifting the juggernaut battleship out of the water, according to foundation press materials.
Currently, the oldest battleship in existence that witnessed both WWI and WWII is owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In 2019, the state legislature appropriated $35 million to fund the ship’s hull repair.
A symbol of America's military might, Battleship Texas was commissioned in 1914 and at the time, was (somewhat fittingly, given the name) considered the most powerful weapon in the world. The warship is credited with introducing and innovating gunnery, aviation, and radar.
In 1948, Battleship Texas was decommissioned and made a permanent museum, appropriately on April 21, Texas Independence Day.