For several years now, we have followed the progressive decline of the battleship USS Texas, commissioned in 1914. She is the only remaining World War I-era dreadnought battleship and is one of only seven remaining ships and the only remaining capital ship to have served in both World Wars. The USS Texas, now berthed in the salty waters of the Houston Ship Channel, continues to be losing a battle with time and corrosion.
As reported by the Houston Chronicle: “We pump about 300,000 gallons of water a day out of the Battleship Texas,” said Bruce Bramlett, executive director of the Battleship Texas Foundation. “There are places on the ship where the hull is so thin you can poke your finger through it. So we’re constantly pumping water out and patching holes and the water is constantly seeping back in.”
The hope is to dry-berth the ship, to stabilize her structure and stop further corrosion. The project is estimated to cost $40 or $50 million, which is only somewhat higher than the estimated $30 million cost to scrap the ship. The ship is owned by the State of Texas which has already spent $68 million on the historic ship over the years.
In June, leaks aboard the ship caused the ship to list 8 degrees causing concerns that that battleship might capsize. Additional pumps stabilized the leaking and the list was corrected.