The Battleship Texas Foundation reports that the historic battleship USS Texas completed a milestone journey on Wednesday, August 31 from the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in La Porte, Texas, to Galveston. Since then, social media posts show that historic ship has been successfully drydocked at the Gulf Copper shipyard.
The USS Texas, commissioned in 1914, is the only surviving dreadnought to have served in both World War I and World II. The historic ship will now undergo an extensive, $35 million repair at Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corporation’s shipyard to fix the hull. The Battleship Texas Foundation selected Gulf Copper October 2021 as the repair location as it had recently acquired a floating dry dock capable of lifting the ship out of the water. In addition, the location of the yard in Galveston significantly reduced the risks associated with towing the ship thanks to offering sheltered waters and a short travel distance.
“It’s an important piece of history. We feel like we’re working for the people of the state of Texas so that they can be proud of their ship,” said Tony Gregory, president and CEO of the Battleship Texas Foundation. “We are proud to have played a part in maintaining the integrity of the ship so future generations can continue to learn about her service and history.”
The ship closed to the public in August 2019 to prepare for the restoration which is being undertaken by a dedicated project group consisting of the Battleship Texas Foundation, the operator of the ship; Valkor Energy Services, the project management and engineering firm for the ship repair; and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the administrator of the ship.
Resolve Marine Group was contracted in 2020 and coordinated with the Battleship Texas Foundation and Valkor Energy Services to reduce the amount of water leaking into the ship to help ensure a safe journey.
After an extensive campaign to save it from destruction, the USS Texas was decommissioned and commemorated as a museum at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site on April 21st, 1948 – 112 years to the day that the Texas Republic won its independence. The restoration project is expected to be completed between June and September 2023, after which the iconic vessel will seek a new place to reside and reopen to the public.
Formed in 1998, the Battleship Texas Foundation exists today as an advocate for Battleship Texas, and to help develop the historic ship into a premier hands-on museum and visitor attraction. The Battleship Texas Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; as of August 1st, 2020, Battleship Texas Foundation has taken the lead in the operations of Battleship Texas, with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department retaining an advisory and oversight role.