The History of the Battleship Texas

Battleship Texas was launched 110 years ago and is the only surviving ship of its kind to have served in World War I and World War II.

GALVESTON, Texas – Battleship Texas spent most of her 74 years prior to La Porte take a trip to Galveston Wednesday.

But the ship made history long before this expedition.

Many observed the final leg of the USS Texas voyage to a dry dock while standing atop other WWII-era ships on display in the Galveston Naval Museum.

“We’re here to welcome and celebrate them,” said museum director Tammy Lobaugh.

The more than hundred-year-old ship will soon receive much-needed TLC.

“When she was launched and commissioned, she was the fiercest warship of the day,” said Lobaugh.

The USS Texas was launched in 1912 and served until the outbreak of World War I.

She was almost sent to the scrap heap in the late 1930s before proving her worth in World War II by helping defeat Nazis from North Africa to Normandy. She was then dispatched to help protect troops in Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

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USS Texas was the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, launch an airplane and one of the first with radar.

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, a native of Texas, assisted in her arrival in the Lone Star State in 1948 when the USS Texas became the nation’s first battleship museum at La Porte.

“Today, brave old ship, we say to you, ‘Hail and farewell,'” Nimitz said during the ceremony.

“I spent two and a half years aboard the ship,” said World War II veterinarian Julio Zaccagni.

RELATED: Battleship Texas arrives in Galveston for months of repairs

During his deployment on the USS Texas, the 100-year-old was, among other things, a range finder.

“From February 1940 to July 1942,” said Zaccagni.

He arrived in La Porte Wednesday morning to bid farewell to the USS Texas on the next mission of its long, incredible life.

“When I was on board, it was a real first-class ship,” said Zaccagni.

Many hope that she will reclaim some of her fame soon.

Jason Bristol on social media: Facebook | Twitter The History of the Battleship Texas

Laura Coffey

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