Time Short to Save Battleship USS Texas

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.

Battleship Texas is leaking again

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2 Responses to Time Short to Save Battleship USS Texas

  1. Willy says:

    Instead of building that huge pool for her they should have put her on piers. Live and learn.

  2. chris says:

    BB 35
    Born through tempered steel
    Blasted, shaped pieces
    Gathered, welded, to form at first
    A spine-like keel along a well-used slip.
    The cradle of creation for
    Many fair ladies in coats of grey to
    Serve their nation in peace and bloody war.
    No baby’s wail for a first new breath but the urgent
    Reaching of that resplendent casing toward
    Its natural serous environment.

    On that glorious first day
    She moved with tugs for midwives.
    Held by umbilical cords protecting her side, giving
    Hundreds of ant-like parents the power to complete her,
    To feed her need for coal
    The needs of those she will carry to the fury of battle
    For water, victuals, shells and cartridges.

    For the first time she feels Old Glory being raised,
    Pride swelling for her, champagne exploding
    The heady expectation of future victories assured.
    She feels the air move the water ‘round her form,
    Those harbour ripples, swelling into waves that
    Nudge her closer in her berth
    Gently rock her doughty spirit
    A hint of what lies when finally she casts off
    To dominate first Mexicans
    Then the oceans of the world.

    Sixty years later a dock floods
    An elderly lady floats once more.
    She’ll not sink again caisson now removed.
    New ant-like fussing to protect against
    Old foes of salt and weather. Remembered
    Again by her namesake nation and
    The broader Union which brought her forth.

    She’ll patrol the seas no more but
    Memories remain of yesterday’s fame
    Of first to launch flight,
    First ready to fight flight,
    First for direction of her fourteen inch
    Don’t tread on me guns.
    First with Radar, First Division of Marines
    Carrying Cronkite before the doldrums of time
    Peace and obsolescence at her
    Tugged for a new and final role.

    By history nationally recognised and as living
    Memories fade of fearless service in
    Atlantic and Pacific Wars she will remain forever
    The Flagship of the Texas Navy.
    ©Tom Frederick 2015