Exhibit Commemorates 100 Years of the USS TEXAS
Photos, documents, descriptions provide a glimpse of life on deck
JANUARY 24, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – Life on board the USS TEXAS and the ship's 100-year history will be revealed in a special exhibition opening Feb. 1, 2014 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin. Battleship TEXAS:Commemorating 100 Years marks the centennial anniversary of the commission of the TEXAS, the only surviving battleship that endured two world wars.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the Bullock Museum and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It will be located in the third-floor Rotunda Gallery of the Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Avenue in Austin. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and admission to this gallery is free. On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, the museum will host a High Noon Talk, The Boys on Board, focused on the men who called the ship their home.
The TEXAS was the most powerful naval weapon at the time of its commissioning on March 12, 1914, and it is the only surviving U.S. Navy vessel that fought in battles in both World War I and World War II. The ship was engaged in battle during several operations, including Operation Overlord/Neptune, also known as D-Day, Operation Detachment at Iwo Jima, and Operation Iceberg at Okinawa.
The exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the battleship's commission bydisplaying images and artifacts from its 30 years of service that tell the story of life on board as well as the United States' evolution into a global force. Excerpts from oral histories of those who served on the ship provide personal reflections of the men whose lives were shaped by the people, places and events of the time.
More than 1,000 men lived aboard TEXAS when commissioned in 1914, and that number increased to over 1,800 during WWII. TEXAS'S long history includes being the first U.S. Navy vessel to house a permanently assigned contingent of Marines, the first U.S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today's computers), the first to launch an aircraft from a catapult, and one of the first to use radar equipment in the U.S. Navy.
The TEXAS was decommissioned in 1948 and the U.S. Navy transferred it to the State of Texas. The ship was anchored in Buffalo Bayou in the Houston Ship Channel and became the first battleship memorial museum in the United States. For over 65 years, the ship has been open as a public memorial at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in LaPorte, Texas.
The ship was placed under the stewardship of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1983. Due to the battleship's age, key structural areas are in need of repair. TPWD is currently making critical vessel repairs to the ship's "skeleton" so that the ship remains strong enough to hold herself up.
Battleship TEXAS: Commemorating 100 Years is free and open to the public. Please visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-4649 for more information.