USS Texas – Squadron at Sea
The USS Texas was commissioned 12 March 1914. The USS Texas served in both World Wars and many other conflicts during her service in the United States Navy. Her first call to action was immediately following her commissioning, when she was stationed of the coast of Vera Cruz, Mexico as a show of force.
During World War I, the USS Texas’ main duty was convoy escort. In 1919, there was even a movie shot on the Texas starring Chester Conklin. In 1925, the USS Texas was brought in for modernization. This was completed in 1926. After this time and up to the beginning of World War II, the Texas spent time operating in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
During World War II, the Texas spent a majority of her service off the coast of North America, again performing escort duty. The Texas participated in Operation Torch where her 14-inch rifles were fired for the first time in combat. She participated in the D-Day invasion as part of the U.S. Navy Bombardment Force C. On June 25, 1944, the Texas came under heavy artillery fire. The Texas was hit by one round that struck the bridge. There was also an unexploded 240mm shell found on the ship later the same day. This action caused the only fatality aboard the Texas. After this, she was sent to New York for repair and then dispatched to the Pacific. In the Pacific, the Texas saw action at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
After the end of hostilities, the Texas spent a year and a half in storage in Maryland. She was demilitarized and towed to Galveston, Texas. She was decommissioned in 1948 and became the first steel capital ship made into a monument. The Texas has been open to public for tour ever since, with one exception. In 1988, the ship was put in dry dock as it was badly deteriorating.
What more can be about Squadron Signal’s Squadron At Sea books? As with their other series, this is a fine piece of reading. The book is chock full of photographs (b&w and color) with very descriptive captions. There are several line drawings, along with color artwork. If you have an interest in early 20th Century U.S. Naval warships, or merely naval subjects for that matter, I recommend this book for you. Squadron Signal has been in the book business for many decades and they are only getting better as time goes on!
I would like to thank Squadron Signal Publications for supplying this book for review, and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to be able to review it.