USS Texas BB-35: From Design to Destiny - A Battleship Built for Greatness
The USS Texas (BB-35), a battleship that served with distinction in both World Wars, had a remarkable journey from its initial design to its ultimate destiny. This article explores the construction of the USS Texas and the original intentions behind its design, as well as how it evolved into a vessel that surpassed expectations and became a legendary symbol of American naval power.
Design and Construction:
The construction of the USS Texas began in 1911 at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Virginia. The ship was part of the New York-class of battleships and incorporated several advancements in naval technology at the time. The designers aimed to create a battleship that would be powerful, well-armored, and capable of projecting American naval dominance on the global stage.
Size and Armament:
The USS Texas was an impressive feat of engineering, measuring 573 feet long and displacing over 27,000 tons. The battleship featured a main battery of ten 14-inch guns, mounted in five twin turrets along the centerline. This armament was intended to deliver devastating blows to enemy targets, providing the USS Texas with unmatched firepower and striking power.
Enhanced Protection:
One of the primary design considerations for the USS Texas was its armor protection. The ship was equipped with an advanced armor belt, ranging from 6 to 12 inches thick, which covered the critical areas and provided defense against enemy fire. Additionally, the turrets and barbettes were heavily armored, ensuring the safety of the crew and the integrity of the ship during combat.
Operational Purpose:
The USS Texas was designed with the goal of projecting American naval power worldwide. It was envisioned as a battleship capable of engaging and neutralizing the most advanced enemy vessels. The ship's long-range capabilities, armored protection, and immense firepower made it a formidable force on the seas, ideally suited for engaging other battleships and protecting American interests.
Service and Transformation:
Throughout its service, the USS Texas surpassed its intended purpose and took on various roles. During World War I, the ship served as part of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, conducting patrols and escorting convoys. It also supported the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. In World War II, the USS Texas played a pivotal role in numerous campaigns, including the North African and Normandy invasions.
Symbol of American Naval Power:
Beyond its intended design, the USS Texas became a symbol of American naval power and resilience. Its exploits in both world wars showcased its strength, adaptability, and the courage of its crew. The battleship's legacy is not only defined by its technical specifications but also by the determination of the men who served aboard it.
Preservation and Museum Ship:
After retiring from active duty in 1948, the USS Texas found new life as a museum ship. Recognizing its historical significance, the battleship was transformed into a floating museum, allowing visitors to explore its decks and gain a firsthand understanding of its remarkable history. Today, the USS Texas stands as a living testament to the ingenuity, power, and valor of the American naval forces.
The USS Texas BB-35 battleship, initially designed with the aim of projecting American naval dominance, far surpassed its intended purpose. From its construction to its destiny, the ship demonstrated its effectiveness as a battleship, becoming an enduring symbol of American naval power. The USS Texas' ability to adapt to changing warfare strategies and its vital role in major military campaigns solidify its place in history as an icon of strength and resilience. As a museum ship, it continues to inspire visitors, preserving the legacy of the battleship and the brave men who served aboard it.

SAN JACINTO WEATHER of the museum where USS Texas is located