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Battleship Texas State Historic Site
Closest available address
3523 Highway 134 La Porte, Texas 77571
10:00-5:00, closed holidays
Best time to visit
The Battleship Texas is a US Navy ship that was launched in 1912 and was in active service through WWII. The Texas is one of the rare US warships that served in both World Wars. It is anchored on the Buffalo Bayou next to the 1,200 acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, and is located about 30 miles east of Houston.
The Texas was launched in an era when airplanes were beginning to emerge as the key weapon in naval warfare so it was already obsolete as an anti-ship weapon a few years after it began service. Nevertheless, it served a number of combat roles including escorting ship convoys and shore bombardment during WWII. The Texas was donated to the state of Texas in 1948 and became the first museum ship in the country soon thereafter.
The Texas has been restored to its WWII appearance and a visit offers insight into how it operated. One can explore several decks on a self-guided tour. The officer and crew areas are interesting. Also worthwhile to see is the pilot house and the ship’s steering system. The exterior anti-aircraft guns on the main deck can be moved around (fun for kids). The third deck features an extensive engine room and a visit here will provide a sense of the noise and heat that the engineers had to endure. This section also includes a good short film on the engines themselves. Another film on the history of the Texas is shown in the museum on the main deck. Steep ladders connect the various decks, so if your mobility is limited, touring the ship may not be a good choice.
Visiting the Texas will appeal to a wide audience both as a military museum and from the novelty of exploring an authentic battleship. Volunteers may lead tours of the ship on weekends.
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San Jacinto Battleground State...
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