A last-of-its-kind battleship that fought in both world wars is on the move for the first time in over 30 years for repairs

1 year ago 203
  • The USS Texas is the last of a WWI-era class of battleship known as "dreadnoughts."
  • It saw action in two world wars before becoming a museum in 1948.
  • The $35 million in repairs to its hull are expected to take two years.

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A US Navy battleship that is over one hundred years old and saw action in two world wars is on the move for the first time in more than three decades to undergo much-needed repairs.

First launched in 1912 and commissioned two years later, the USS Texas engaged German U-boats off the New England coast in World War I and was later deployed during World War II to support the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, before it was eventually turned into a floating museum in 1948.

The battleship left San Jacinto, Texas, on Wednesday morning and is expected to reach the Gulf Copper Shipyard in Galveston by nightfall, where it will undergo $35 million in repairs to a hull damaged by decades in the water, the Associated Press reported. The work is expected to take two years.

People on coast watching USS Texas return to port

The USS Texas returning to the San Jacinto Memorial State Park after completing its last round of repairs in 1990. Getty Images

"We're having no issues so far. The ship is being absolutely magnificent," Travis Davis, vice president of ship operations at the Battleship Texas Foundation, said in a video message on Wednesday afternoon.

The ship last underwent repairs in 1988. As the years have gone by, it has become increasingly obvious that repairs are again needed, but there have been concerns about moving the ship. Some observers have even expressed fears the ship might sink.

In an interview with Texas Standard, Bruce Bramlett, chief operating officer for the foundation, said he did not anticipate any problems given the planning that has gone into the move. "This is going to work," he said. "It's going to work fine."

He also confirmed that the ship will have a new home once repairs are completed.

"We're going to take our history with us. It was made thousands of miles from here and it'll go wherever the ship goes," he said. The ship, formally owned by the state of Texas, could end up in Beaumont, Baytown, or remain in Galveston, Bramlett said.

The USS Texas is a New York-class battleship and the last of the World War I-era battleships known as "dreadnoughts," the Houston Chronicle reported. In the first global conflict, it patrolled trade routes in northern Europe, later serving as the flagship of the Pacific Fleet in the 1930s. During World War II, it was armed with anti-aircraft weapons and poured fire on Nazi positions during the D-Day invasion. It also bombarded Iow Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific theater.

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