B’Ship Texas Leaking — Is She Doomed?
The historic 100 year old Battleship Texas at San Jacinto State Park is fighting a new enemy, and she may not win this battle. She’s so rusty her hull is leaking. Worse, fixing this latest leak is like trying to save a dying man with a band-aid. It’s sad to contemplate, but this most historic of all 20th century battleships appears to be doomed.
The USS Texas is in this predicament despite the $25 million dollar bond issue the legislature approved to save her in 2007. That’s not nearly enough to do everything that needs to be done to save the ship and preserve her.
Battleship Texas Foundation director Bruce Bramlett says the ship is in such poor condition she can’t be moved or taken out of the water without major on-site repairs, but leaving her in the water is a “death sentence.”
There you have it. They can’t move her, or fix her where she is, or take her out of the water. And the governor and state lawmakers aren’t in the mood to provide more money for the ship.
This is a sad fate for the last survivor of the Dreadnought class of heavy battleships built just before WWI. The dreadnoughts were modeled after the HMS Dreadnought, built by the British navy in 1906. HMS Dreadnought was the first modern battleship, and she brought naval warfare into the 20th century. She started an arms race that forced every navy in the world to build their own dreadnought class ships.
The United States had been thinking about bigger battleship design before HMS Dreadnought, but didn’t build any until after Dreadnought hit the water.
Launched in 1914, the USS Texas served in both world wars and was present for the landings at Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Navy gave the ship to the state of Texas in 1946. In 1948 she opened to the public as the nation’s first battleship memorial.
Today the Battleship Texas is the only dreadnought left in the world. She’s the last one.