Thursday, February 05, 2009

USS Texas BB-35

While in Houston Texas attending the Space Exploration Educators Conference, Molly took the opportunity to do a little site seeing. Yesterday she visited the San Jacinto Monument and the USS Texas.

USS Texas (BB-35), the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the U.S. state of Texas, is a New York-class battleship. The ship was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914.

Soon after her commissioning, Texas saw action in Mexican waters following the "Tampico Incident" and escorted Allied convoys across the Atlantic Ocean during World War I. When the United States formally entered World War II in 1941, Texas resumed her role of escorting war convoys across the Atlantic, and she later shelled Axis-held beaches for the North African campaign and the Normandy Landings before being transferred to the Pacific Theater late in 1944 to provide naval gunfire support during the Battle of Iwo Jima and Battle of Okinawa.

Texas was decommissioned in 1948, having earned a total of five battle stars for service in World War II, and is presently a museum ship near Houston, Texas. Among the world's remaining battleships, Texas is notable for being the oldest remaining dreadnought battleship. She is also noteworthy for being one of only two remaining ships to have served in both World War I and World War II. Among U.S.-built battleships, Texas is notable for her sizable number of firsts: the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first U.S. ship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today's computers), the first battleship to launch an aircraft, the first to receive a commercial radar in the U.S. Navy, the first battleship to become a museum ship, and the first battleship declared to be a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

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