Allied Warships

USS Texas (BB 35)

Battleship of the New York class

NavyThe US Navy
ClassNew York 
PennantBB 35 
Built byNewport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. (Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A.) 
Laid down17 Apr 1911 
Launched18 May 1912 
Commissioned12 Mar 1914 
End service21 Apr 1948 

Texas is the last of the battleships, patterned after HMS Dreadnought, that participated in World War I and the Second World War. Considered the most powerful warship afloat because of her ten 14\"/45 guns in five twin turrets, Texas was commissioned in March 1914 and proceeded almost immediately to Mexican waters where she joined the Special Service Squadron following the \"Vera Cruz Incident\". She returned to Atlantic Fleet operations in the fall of 1914, after the Mexican crisis was resolved. In 1916 Texas became the first U. S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns and the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers, analog forerunners of todays computers. After the U. S. entered World War I, she spent 1917 training gun crews for merchant ships that were often attacked by gunfire from surfaced submarines. Texas joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Operating out of Scapa Flow and the Firth of Forth, Texas protected forces laying a North Sea mine barrage, responded to German High Seas Fleet sorties, fired at submarine periscopes observed by multiple ships, and helped prevent enemy naval forces from interrupting the supply of allied forces in Europe. Late in 1918 she guarded the German Fleet enroute to its surrender anchorage and escorted President Wilson to peace talks in France. In 1919 Texas became the first U. S. battleship to launch an aircraft and served as a plane guard and navigational reference for the first trans-Atlantic flight by the seaplane NC-4, after which she transferred to the Pacific Fleet. In 1924 Texas returned to the Atlantic and sank the incomplete battleship Washington (BB 47) so the U. S. would be in compliance with the Naval Arms Limitation Treaty of 1922. From 1925 to 1927 Texas underwent modernization in Norfolk, transitioning from coal to oil fired boilers and receiving numerous other alterations. In 1927 Texas became the flagship of the U. S. Fleet and inaugurated the use of \"talking\" pictures for crew entertainment. She embarked President Coolidge for a trip to Cuba in 1928. Texas received the first commercial radar in the U.S. Navy in 1939. In 1940, Texas was designated flagship of U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The First Marine Division was founded aboard Texas early in 1941. That same year while on \"Neutrality Patrol\" in the Atlantic, Texas was stalked unsuccessfully by the German submarine U-203. Texas escorted Atlantic convoys against potential attacks by German warships after America entered World War II in December 1941. In 1942, Texas transmitted General Eisenhower\'s first \"Voice of Freedom\" broadcast, asking the French not to oppose allied landings on North Africa. The appeal went unheeded and Texas provided gunfire support for the amphibious assault on Morocco, putting Walter Cronkite ashore to begin his career as a war correspondent. After further convoy duty, Texas fired on Nazi defenses at Normandy on \"D-Day\", June 6, 1944. Shortly afterwards she was hit twice in a duel with German coastal defense artillery near Cherbourg, suffering 1 fatality and 13 wounded. Quickly repaired, she shelled Nazi positions in Southern France before transferring to the Pacific where she lent gunfire support and anti-aircraft fire to the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Decommissioned on 21 April 1948 and stricken for disposal on 30 April 1948. Texas became the first battleship memorial museum in the U. S. Texas was placed under the stewardship of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in 1983. The ship underwent drydock overhaul in 1988-90 and began systematic restoration to her 1945 configuration in Measure 21 blue camouflage. USS Texas is a National Historic Landmark. Texas\'s reciprocating marine steam engines are National Historic Engineering Landmarks.


Commands listed for USS Texas (BB 35)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Frederick Fremont Rogers, USN21 Nov 19361 Jun 1938
2Capt. Robert Rutherford Morris Emmet, USN1 Jun 193831 May 1940
3Capt. Clarence Nelson Hinkamp, USN31 May 19402 Aug 1941
4Capt. Lewis Wells Comstock, USN2 Aug 194128 Sep 1942
5Cdr. William Everett Hennigar, USN28 Sep 19423 Oct 1942
6Capt. Laurence Wild, USN3 Oct 194214 Oct 1942
7Cdr. William Everett Hennigar, USN14 Oct 194217 Oct 1942
8Capt. Roy Pfaff, USN17 Oct 194210 Mar 1944
9Capt. Charles Adams Baker, USN10 Mar 194417 Aug 1945
10T/Capt. Gerald Laurence Schetky, USN17 Aug 19453 Jul 1946

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Notable events involving Texas include:

10 Jun 1943
USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN) conducted trials and exercises off Casco Bay, Maine together with USS Texas (Capt. R. Pfaff, USN). They were escorted by USS Terry (Cdr. G.R. Phelan, USN), USS Walker (Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Bulmer (Lt.Cdr. L.F. Volk, USN) and USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Miller, USN).

15 Jul 1944
Around 2215B/15, the escort carriers HMS Searcher (Capt. G.O.C. Davies, RN), HMS Pursuer (A/Capt. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Emperor (A/Capt. T.J.N. Hilken, DSO, RN), HMS Khedive (Capt.(Retd.) H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) and the AA ship / fighter direction ship HMS Ulster Queen (A/Capt. M.H.J. Bennett, RD, RNR) departed Greenock for the Mediterranean.

Around 0645B, they made rendezvous with the battleship USS Texas (Capt. C.A. Baker, USN) and the destroyers USS Jeffers (T/Cdr. H.Q. Murray, USN with COMDESRON 17, T/Capt. A.C. Murdaugh, USN on board), Murphy (T/Cdr. R.A. Wolverton, USN), USS Butler (T/Cdr. M.D. Matthews, USN), USS Gherardi (T/Cdr. N.R. Curtin, USN), USS Herndon T/Cdr. G.A. Moore, USN) and USS Shubrick (T/Cdr. W. Blenman, USN).

Around 0615B, the sloop HMS Stork (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Mansfield, RN) and the frigate HMS Awe (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) joined.

Around 0945B/22, USS Texas, HMS Emperor, HMS Khedive, USS Jeffers, USS Herndon and USS Shubrick parted company with the other ships.

Around 1730B/22, USS Texas and USS Jeffers arrived at Mers-el-Kebir.

Around 1900B/22, USS Murphy arrived at Mers-el-Kebir.

Around 2245B/22, HMS Searcher, HMS Pursuer, USS Butler, USS Gherardi, HMS Stork and HMS Awe were joined by the destroyer escort USS Marsh (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Jordan, USNR) coming from Oran.

Around 0800B/23, HMS Emperor, HMS Khedive, USS Herndon and USS Shubrick arrived at Algiers. After having embarked stores, they departed again around 1130B/23 to join HMS Searcher and HMS Pursuer and their escort. With them the escort carrier HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), USS Herndon and USS Shubrick also joined.

Around 0930B/25, HMS Attacker, HMS Searcher, HMS Pursuer, HMS Emperor, HMS Khedive, HMS Ulster Queen, USS Butler, USS Gherardi, USS Herndon, USS Shubrick, USS Marsh, HMS Stork and HMS Awe arrived at Malta. (1)


  1. ADM 53/119346 + ADM 53/119658 + ADM 53/120286 + ADM 53/120464 + several war diaries of the USN ships

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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