Made by Redditor Timid_One. A very good article so I decided to post it in order to make it more seen.
Welcome aboard the USS TEXAS(BB-35) Sailors!
This is the USS TEXAS a New York Class Battleship, commissioned from 1914 to 1948, the Last Dreadnought type battleship. It served in both World Wars, one of the few remaining ships for the British Grand Fleet, was the flagship of the US navy for a time ,and is also the only US battleship to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war and still afloat. Other American battleships to serve in both theaters are the Nevada, Arkansas, USS Massachsetts BB-59 and New York. The ship also has numerous firsts such as the first to mount the 14″ guns(10 guns in 5 twin gun turrets), first US Battleship to launch an aircraft, and the first US battleship to mount AA guns, just to name a few. Even at its ripe old age of 101, it continues to create new first as it was the first ship to have a broken keel fixed while floating.
The USS Texas as commissioned in 1914
The USS Texas looks much different than the ship we see today. This is because of the Washington Naval Arms treaty of 1922 which limited the size of navies around the world and suspended all new battleship creation for the next 10 years. This meant that the ship intended to replace the Texas(the USS Washington which was 70% completed) was sunk as gunnery by the Texas. The treaty forced the navy to modernize old battleships as they could not build new ones to replace the aging WW1 ship. Fun fact, since the Texas was the first ship to use the 14″ gun, and for a few months made it the most powerful weapon in the world. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “but /u/Timid_One, wasn’t the New York the lead ship of its class? Wouldn’t that make the New York the first ship to float the 14″ gun?”. Well you are right, the New York was the lead ship of its class, but the Texas was laid down and commissioned before the New York. Thus making it the first ship with 14″ guns and blahblahblah stuff I say when working. Honestly if you’re actually reading all this I’m surprised, I would of skipped over all this.
USS Texas Post 1925-1927 modernization
In ’25-’27 the ship was dry docked in Norfolk and was modernized. The major changes included the removal of the two cage masts for two tri-pod masts, the addition of an aircraft catapult on top of turret 3, the addition of a torpedo blister, the removal of the the 14 coal fired boilers in exchange for 6 oil fired boilers, and the removal of her 4 torpedo tubes(Yes, the ship originally had torpedoes). The torpedo blister acted as a form of spaced armor, the idea was that if the ship was going to get hit by a torp, the detonation would blow a hole in the blister but keep the hull of the ship intact.
In the words of DJ Khaled, Another one
Inside the Bridge
This photo is of the bridge on the forward trip-pod mast. It is also the spot of the ships only combat fatality in its 34 years of service. Which occurred 25 June 1944. Another story for another time perhaps.
Engine Order Telegraph
This machine would tell the individual engine rooms(Port and Starboard) at which speed the captain wanted it to go at. the dials which this machine turned I will photograph next time I am at work.
5″/51 cal anti-destroyer gun
The 5”/51 cal gun was mostly used for ship defense against smaller ships like destroyers, torpedo boats, ect. As launched the ship had 21 of these guns which was reduced down to 6 by the end of WW2 as air defense took priority.
5″/51 gun inside the aircastle
One of the 6 5″ guns still aboard ship. Quick note, while these were meant to be used against other ships, the Texas got so close to Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima that the 5″ and 3″ guns were also used in the artillery bombardment.
Marks on the 5″/51 cal guns
Important to note that none of the guns ,aside from the 14″ guns, are original to the ship. They were brought in at a later date because in 1948 the Houston Ship channel was not deep enough to accommodate the ship so they removed the catapult and stripped her of the guns. The guns were then transferred to other ships as they were still being used by the military.
Shell Ready Rack for the 5” guns.
Here we have the 3 types of shells fired by the 5″ guns. The gray shells would be Willy Pete or White Phosphorus, weighed about 50 lbs, and used as illumination. The green shells would be High Explosive, also weighed about 50 lbs. Finally the black shells are the Armored Piercing shells, they weighed about 80lbs. Had a range of somewhere around 16,000 yards.
Hand painted 5″ shell.
This 5″ AP shell has a little white strip with a red dot near the tip of it. This band signifies that it is a tracer round with the red dot identifying it was a red colored tracer.
3″/50 cal AA gun.
These would of been the first AA guns mounted on ship. There were 10 of them and could fire a proximity round into the air about 15,000 yards. They could also be used against other ships.
Mark 51 Gun Director
This gun director would of been connected one of the quad Bofors 40mm mount which controlled where the gun would aim as well as when it would fire. It operated the 40mm guns in a point and click fashion, like a video game.
Bofors 40mm AA gun
The 40mm Bofors gun is still used in today’s military and was very effective against aircraft.
Quad 40mm Bofors AA mount
there would of been 10 of these quad 40 mounts. 40, 40mm guns in all. Notice the gun director on top of the ammo locker behind the mount.
The ammo for the Bofors guns fired the 40mm shells from a clip. These clips could be stored inside the blister shield with a wet canvas over them in order to be more readily available in combat.
Here is where the 40mm clips could be stored and covered with a wet canvas. These slots would cover the entirety of the inside of the blister shield.
1.1″ AA gun
Also called a “Chicago Piano”, the number of these 1.1″ guns fluctuated but were generally removed completely in favor of the much more effective 20 and 40 millimeter AA guns
Single mount 20mm Oerlikon
The 20mm Oerlikon had a rate of fire of 460 rounds per minute and were fed by a single 60 round drum. By the end of WW2 in ’45 the ship had 44 of these 20mm mounts. Including 6 on top of turrets 2 and 4.
Turret 3, right at the mid ship.
No space was wasted on ships
Not a torpedo!
This is a paravane, it would be attached to the ship via a cable and dumped into the water. From there it would cut the lines of any mines floating in the water and bring them to the surface where sailors could shoot them and destroy them.
USS Texas at the Battle of Cherbourg
The ship would be straddled by shells over 60 times in its duel with the shore battery.
Life photo magazine of the Texas being attacked by a kamikaze
I mean the Title explains it all, what else do you want me to say? If you don’t understand the photolook at the title. Stop skipping the title.
USS Texas at Iwo Jima
Notice the 20mm mounts on top of turrets 2 and 4 as well as the aircraft catapult on top of turret 3.
Stern end of the ship
Work is constantly done in order to keep the ship looking nice and preserve it for future generations. The guys that do the work are out here 5 days a week busting their butt all year. They are the unsung heros of the ship now. About 9 of them do the work that was intended for 950-1800 So, uh, thanks for reading this far I guess. I appreciate you reading this far but thats all for now folks. Maybe ill post more photos, and maybe they’ll be of areas not usually seen by the public. #exploringwithmykey (sorry inside joke I had to)