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HISTORIC STRUCTURES REPORT, BATTLESHIP TEXAS, 1993 is a report on the planning and execution of the major drydocking of battleship Texas.

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HISTORIC STRUCTURES REPORT
BATTLESHIP TEXAS

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
TEXAS ANTIQUITIES PERMIT HS44
JUNE 1993

 


 
HISTORIC STRUCTURES REPORT
BATTLESHIP TEXAS

A REPORT
FOR THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
TEXAS ANTIQUITIES PERMIT HS 44

JUNE 1993

SUE WINTON MOSS
PRESERVATION PLANNING AND CONSULTING
AUSTIN, TEXAS

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cover photograph by
Hugh Power
 


 
HISTORIC STRUCTURES REPORT
BATTLESHIP TEXAS

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 5
PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES 9
DOCUMENTATION METHODOLOGIES AND PROCEDURES 13
REPORT OF THE NAVAL ARCHITECT 15
PREPARATION FOR TRANSIT 21
SHIPYARD RESTORATION PROJECT 23
WOOD DECK RESTORATION PROJECT 37
GUN RESTORATION 41
MOORING SYSTEM 45
ARTIFACT CURATION AND SHIP'S COLLECTIONS 47
APPENDIX
  BATTLESHIP TEXAS ADVISORY BOARD 1986-1990 51
  TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION 53
  PROJECT CONSULTANTS 55
  TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT STAFF 57
  BATTLESHIP TEXAS FUNDING CHRONOLOGY 61
  PROJECT DOCUMENTS 63
  DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS 65
  U.S.S. TEXAS GENERAL DATA 67
  U.S.S. TEXAS CAMPAIGN RECORD 69
  U.S.S. TEXAS COMMANDING OFFICERS 71
  TYPICAL PHOTOS 73
  TYPICAL PHOTOS (continued) 90
 

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Resting at San Jacinto Battleground, the Battleship Texas had been hard aground since 1948. Upon arrival at San Jacinto, some of the ship's tanks had been flooded, and she was set down in a dredged depression that was then hydrofilled around her to a depth of 12 feet. When taken over by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1983 the ship had received no bottom maintenance and little bottom inspection for 35 years.

Her physical condition, both inside and out, was greatly deteriorated. Ten or more bottom tanks were flooded from exterior hull penetrations. There were interior leaks from corroded piping systems. The steel deck underlying the concrete main deck was dangerously corroded in places. There was a continuous leak into the aft trim tanks from the faulty rudder post packing. Corrosion of decks, bulkheads, and overheads was apparent throughout the interior and exterior and ranged from heavy to light. Portions of interior decks were corroded through several levels.

The most important issues during this phase of restoration concerned the selection of a restoration period, the ability of the ship to withstand drydocking, and restoration of watertight integrity. Analysis of the career of the ship and her surviving historic fabric supported a restoration period demonstrating her appearance during service in the Pacific theater during the spring of 1945. The condition report prepared by the naval architect concluded that the ship was able to make the transit to shipyard and sound enough to support her weight on the drydock. Because the ship' s previous mooring system had contributed to the lack of maintenance of the underwater hull, the decision was made to moor the ship in a floating state, thus permitting periodic inspection and minor repairs in situ.

Fundraising efforts of the Battleship Texas Advisory Board, a generous donation by the U. S. Congress through appropriations to the U. S. Navy, and substantial funding by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sponsored the shipyard restoration.

Texas arrived at Todd Shipyard on December 13, 1988. During the next thirteen-plus months, 350,000 pounds of steel were replaced on ship's hull and main deck, and more than 40,000 rivets were seal-welded on the underwater hull. A high-tech epoxy coating was applied to underwater hull to retard corrosion, and 34 gun and director tubs were reconstructed. She left the yard on February 23, 1990, with her structural and watertight integrity restored and the Camouflage Measure 21 paint system gleaming. The Battleship Texas was ready to embark on a renewed career of public service as a memorial ship.

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The following report is limited primarily to the restoration project at Todd Shipyard, Galveston. The wood deck project has also been included, but interior and compartment restoration will be the subject of subsequent reports.

 

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

USS Texas, authorized by Congress in 1910, was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. Her keel was laid in April 1911, and the hull was launched in May 1912. Commissioned on March 12,1914, she and her sister New York were the most powerful battleships in the world (a distinction they held for eight months until the British Navy commissioned HMS Queen Elizabeth). Their main batteries of ten 14-inch guns were larger than any mounted on an existing battleship. Texas also carried additional fire support in twenty-one 5-inch guns and four 21-inch submerged torpedo tubes.

The ship' s hull was riveted steel, transverse-framed. She had three decks, two half decks, two platform decks, a hold deck, and an inner bottom that extended her entire length and formed a second shell on the sides. The main deckhouse ran from the No. 2 turret to just forward of the No. 3 turret and contained the admiral's quarters and the conning tower foundation. Two smoke stacks and the forward cage mast rose from this deck. The after cage mast stood between the No. 3 and the No. 4 guns.

Following the contemporary practice to protect against equivalent guns, the ship had armor protection against 14-inchers. The conning tower's sides were twelve inches thick, and turret plates ranged from eight to fourteen inches. Two propellers and shafts were driven by two four-cylinder, triple-expansion, reciprocating steam engines (now National Historical Engineering Landmarks). Lacking full confidence in the higher-speed, American-built turbine engines of the time, the Navy called for the more economical and reliable reciprocating engines for Texas and New York.

In the early years of her career, Texas operated with the U. S. fleet in the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans. She became known as one of the best ships of the fleet, excelling in gunnery and engineering efficiency. The ship was part of the Battleship Force of the Atlantic Fleet when war with Germany was declared in April 1917. En route in September to join the American fleet steaming to the British Isles, Texas ran aground at Block Island at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. She put back to New York for repairs and did not join the American contingent of the British Grand Fleet until late winter, 1918. As part of the American squadron, she participated in maneuvers against threats of the German High Seas Fleet in the North Sea. After the declaration of armistice on November 11, 1918, the Grand Fleet, including Texas, escorted the German fleet to the Firth of Forth for surrender. On December 1, 1918, she sailed for home.

After the war Texas was in the vanguard of developing naval aviation--ironically, a military innovation that would eventually make battleships obsolete in modern warfare. On March 9, 1919, from a platform on the No. 2 turret, Commander E. O. McDonnell flew a Sopwith Camel off the ship, the first flight from a U. S. Navy battleship. In May Texas was part of the fleet escorting the Navy's seaplane NC-4

 

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on the first trans-Atlantic flight. Her aviation chores over, she sailed in the summer of 1919 to the Pacific, "showing the flag" there for the next five years.

Some changes had been made, primarily in armament, when Texas joined the British fleet during World War I, but she took on her present configuration until 1925-1927. The Washington Naval Limitations Treaty of 1922 forced the refitting and modernization of U.S. ships that otherwise would have been replaced by newer ones.

When Texas put into drydock at the Norfolk Naval Yard in 1925, she underwent a two-year period of rebuilding and updating. Her hull was widened more than ten feet by the addition of torpedo blisters on both sides. Six new three-drum, oil-fired boilers replaced the original fourteen coal-burners. Additional armor plating was added to the second deck. The six forwardmost 5-inch guns were raised to the main deck, leaving eight guns on the second deck. Some of her smaller guns were also relocated, and eight 3-inch antiaircraft guns were mounted on top of the new deckhouse. Two tripod masts replaced the cage masts, and a fire control and spotting station was installed on a truss tower just aft of the stack. A Mark A-1 catapult was fitted on Turret No. 3, and a Vought FU-1 biplane was stored on the catapult. After her trial runs, Texas was named flagship of the Atlantic fleet, and a flag bridge level was added. With this modernization Texas once again reflected the latest technology of the U. S. Navy, and she emerged from the Norfolk yard as the flagship of the Commander of the American Fleet. For the next twelve years she toured and maneuvered in the major ports of the world, representing American military strength.

With the declaration of war in Europe in 1939, Texas became part of the U. S. Neutrality Patrol operating off the east coast from Newfoundland to Trinidad. She also pulled convoy duty, escorting supply ships to mid-ocean where they were picked up by the British navy. For this duty Texas was outfitted with more modern armament, particularly antiaircraft weaponry. Her primary (14-inch) and secondary (5-inch) batteries had few changes. Throughout the war, however, she had various complements of antiaircraft armament. In keeping with advancing technology, the ship's fire control and communications systems were frequently updated.

The "Mighty T" was at Casco Bay, Maine, when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. She continued convoy duties until November 1942 when she went to North Africa as part of Operation TORCH. Positioned off Mehidia, she bombarded enemy targets during the invasion, expending 273 rounds of 14-inch ammunition from her main battery to protect landing troops from air and surface attacks. This was the first time Texas played the role of floating bombardment platform, her primary mission throughout World War II.

In March 1944 Texas joined the Normandy invasion force, Operation OVERLORD, and sailed for Europe. Off Omaha Beach on D-Day June 6 she fired her first salvoes at 5:50 am, "softening up" the enemy positions in support of the grueling landing. For the next nineteen days the ship ranged up and down the coast of France delivering fire on call. The "Lucky Ship" (as her crew called her) took her only major hits and had her only battle fatality during this campaign. Off

 

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Cherbourg on June 25, her conning tower was hit by a 240mm shell; the helmsman was killed and thirteen others injured. About an hour later, a second shell penetrated her bow below the wardroom, but failed to explode. Texas continued shelling, however, until ordered to withdraw late that day. Her firepower enable Allied troops from the rear to take Cherbourg by the end of the day. The unexploded shell was disarmed and has travelled with the ship as a souvenir of the engagement ever since.

After battle repairs had been made in England, Texas left for the Mediterranean where she supported the invasion of southern France off St. Tropez in mid-August. There she discharged 172 rounds before returning to New York for a major overhaul, including the relining of her main battery and the installation of additional 20mm antiaircraft guns. When she sailed for the Pacific in December 1944, Texas carried ten 14-inch guns, six 5-inch guns, ten 3-inch guns, ten 40mm quadmounted guns and forty-two 20mm guns: a balanced complement of big guns for her primary mission of shore bombardment and antiaircraft armament for self-defense.

Carrying her weight in the Pacific Theater, the "Mighty T" supported the landing at Iwo Jima, pounding the island's defenses with her 14-inch guns from February 19 to March 7, 1945. On April 1 she took part in the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theater--the invasion of Okinawa. For the next six weeks her guns bombarded the coast, using up four shiploads of ammunition. Like other ships in the fleet, Texas encountered heavy Japanese air attacks, including the suicidal kamikazes. Her antiaircraft guns fended off numerous attacks, shot down one plane and helped bring down two others. Thereafter, Texas operated in the Philippines making routine patrols until ceasefire on August 15. At war's end she made three "Magic Carpet" runs to California, bringing more than 4200 troops home from the Pacific.

From June 18, 1946, to January 14, 1948, Texas was mothballed at Hawkin's Point Baltimore. Her usefulness to naval defense finally over, she was slated for target practice. Texas citizens, however, rallied behind their namesake and raised funds to berth the mighty warship in Texas. The Navy turned the battleship over to the state, and she was recommissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy in San Jacinto Day ceremonies on April 21, 1948.

Moored at the San Jacinto Battleground, Texas was administered by the Battleship Texas Commission from 1948 to 1983. The Commission, appointed by the Governor, had the full responsibility for operating and maintaining the ship through entrance fees and private grant subsidies. Due to financial limitations, the Commission was unable to implement major maintenance or development programs on the ship. In the late 1960s, however, the deteriorated wood deck was removed and a concrete decking was applied in its place. Various ship's tanks had been flooded when she was set down in her berth, and piping failures and leaks caused additional tanks and spaces to be flooded and sealed off.

 

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The 68th Texas Legislature transferred the battleship to the Parks and Wildlife Department, and she became part of the Texas state park system on September 1, 1983.

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The Battleship Texas was present in all the important naval theaters of the first half of the twentieth century. She saw valued service during the heyday of battleships, and twice during her career she represented the height of U. S. naval power--upon commissioning in 1914 and after modernization in 1927. While she was an integral part of the World War I fleet, her most important contributions to U.S. military power were made during the Normandy invasion and in the Pacific campaigns at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. When transferred to the State of Texas in 1948, Texas reflected her last battle-ready state, her configuration in the Pacific theater.

 

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PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

In 1983 the 68th Texas Legislature transferred administration of the ship to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the directive that the agency "conduct a study and develop a plan for the long-term maintenance and preservation of the ship," including cost estimates, maintenance and repair priorities, and financing alternatives. Funds had not been available for adequate maintenance and repairs under the Battleship Texas Commission' s administration, and the ship was considered to be in an advanced state of disrepair, perhaps even structurally unsound.

The Department began an intensive study of the ship, her structure, her components and her history in September 1983. Wilson E. Dolman, then Head of Interpretation and Exhibits Branch, was Planning Coordinator and Project Manager. Other planning team members were Orion Knox, then Head of Historic Sites and Restoration Branch; Sue Winton Moss, then Historian Planner in the Historic Sites and Restoration Branch; and Zane Morgan, Head Interpretation and Exhibits Program. Edwin Phillips, President of Edwin Phillips and Associates, was hired as the consulting naval architect.

Phillips and his staff performed a thorough inspection of the ship and her structural and mechanical components during the next year and pronounced the ship capable of withstanding the rigors of a tow to shipyard and drydocking. Meanwhile, Knox and Moss gathered enough information about the ship' s history and present configuration to make informed determinations about the extent of historical fabric from each era of the ship's career and the significance of various aspects of her operational history.

In October 1984 a preliminary Preservation Plan and Program was developed to guide further analysis and decision-making about the ship's restoration and rehabilitation. This initial plan focussed on restoration and interpretation of the ship' s "World War II configuration and exploits, particularly during the bombardment and invasion of Normandy." There was no doubt that World War II was the height of her operational career. The vast changes that had been made during the ship's refit in 1925-27 precluded returning the ship to her earlier cagemast days without the wholesale destruction of most of the historical fabric from the later period. Further investigation, however, revealed that the ship's mainmast was greatly altered in the fall of 1944 just before she sailed to the Pacific. Her present configuration was more reflective of the Pacific theater engagements than the Atlantic. The Development and Interpretive Principles were thus refined (in 1985) to focus on the ship's appearance "during her operations in the Pacific off Iwo Jima and Okinawa" in the spring of 1945. The planning team felt strongly that the Pacific era mainmast comprised significant historical fabric that should not be sacrificed. Certainly, Texas's Pacific theater action was historically important enough to justify interpretation of this period.

The structural and watertight integrity of the ship was deemed to be of first importance, and the development principles spelled it out: "All areas of the ship will be rehabilitated as necessary to recover and maintain her structural integrity. Most public areas of the Texas will be restored and refitted to reflect her World War II

 

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tour of duty in the Pacific theater." The ship was also considered to be a self-contained unit and thus, "Selected nonpublic areas will be adapted for operational uses." Long-range plans called for a new structure located on shore to house interpretive exhibits, theater, concession services, some offices, and curatorial storage facilities.

The planning team proposed the following goals for the development of the Battleship Texas:

1. Preserve, restore and reclaim the historic fabric of the battleship;

2. Utilize state-of-the-art methods and materials to facilitate accurate, cost-effective restoration and rehabilitation;

3. Provide a comprehensive program of interpretation of the battleship and her history; and

4. Provide for the safety of park visitors, the security of park structures and the efficient operation of the site.

With these goals in mind, the team arranged the proposed development in three levels of priority.

Priority One

Those aspects of restoration and rehabilitation essential to the preservation of the structural and watertight integrity of the ship were the first and highest priority. The planning team reasoned that once the hull's integrity had been irremediably breached, the ship' s interiors and interpretation would be jeopardized, regardless of how well executed.

Structural Restoration, including repair of hull penetrations, piping leaks, rudder post leaks, seam and rivet leaks, and transverse web deterioration; application of corrosion- and chemical-resistant underwater coatings; repair of the structural steel main deck; repair of the dangerously deteriorated superstructure;

Slip Preparation, including dredging the slip to enable the ship to float and installing a secure mooring system;1 and

Interior Restoration of selected compartments, both to halt further deterioration and to provide interpretation.

Priority Two

After the ship was watertight and secure from the elements, Priority Two elements would focus on public use and interpretation, encompassing

Refurnishing of Spaces, including living and working spaces and battle stations; and

1Initial planning had considered a traditional line-mooring system. The traffic in the Houston Ship Channel, however, causes significant fluctuations in the ship's draft over short periods of time, and this method was considered to be less safe than a mooring system patterned on that used for off-shore drilling rigs. The Port of Houston Authority and the Houston Pilots Association encouraged the monopile system, and it was adopted and implemented.
 

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Interpretive Programs to orient visitors, guide them through the ship, place the Texas in historical perspective and interpret specific areas and functions.

Priority Three

The on-shore support facilities were third in priority and would include a reception/sales area, a theater, exhibit area presenting an overview of the ship's structural and operational history, office space, artifact storage area, restrooms and a concession facility.

The Preservation Plan and Program, outlined in 1984 and finalized in 1985, provided the basis for the restoration program that followed. The implementation of Priority One (the shipyard restoration project) is the subject of this report.

Initial Restoration by Texas Conservation Corps

In order to take advantage of a state/federal jobs program, during June -August 1984, an area on the second deck that had not been opened to the public in many years was targeted for restoration and refurbishment. The port passageway and adjacent compartments from frame 74 forward to frame 24 were scheduled for restoration by the Texas Conservation Corps. The area and spaces had been photo-documented by Sue Moss and Orion Knox, and the ship's curatorial staff made minor attempts at further documentation before the project started. Since the area had corroded badly and had been repainted a number of times, paint and furnishings documentation and analysis were not done prior to the work commencing. The project proceeded more slowly than had been anticipated, but the passage from frames 74 to 42 was sandblasted to remove paint and corrosion, as were casemates 8, 6, and 4, and the flag office and adjoining bunk space. During the course of sandblasting, it became apparent that even in a deteriorated condition, paint analysis would yield specific information that could be used in restoration. While the furnishings were somewhat catalogued, their rather haphazard removal was very damaging, and storage confused their provenance. The work orders that guided this early work were not based on specific compartment information, but on comparative data from the like starboard passage and from lower decks. This experience, however, proved that specific data was available in even the most corroded and adapted areas, and that it had to be retrieved before destructive restoration or preservation procedures began.

There was sufficient time to adequately document the paint, furnishings and fixtures in the port passage from frames 42 to 24 before work proceeded. These had been photographed previously, and paint documentation forms were completed by Moss and Knox. The furnishings were examined for paint and finishes and typed according to a typology set up for the ship' s furnishings collection, primarily by Zane Morgan and the ship's curatorial cres. Moss, Knox and Morgan prepared work orders to guide the restoration effort in these areas, based on the compartment-specific documentation and using comparative data from other, less-altered parts of the ship. Most of these spaces (Officers' Quarters O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, U-2, U-3,

 

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U-4) had been closed to the public for a long period of time and were probably wearing the last coat of paint that the Navy had given them in 1948. This outer coat of paint was white, not the historical officers' green that was just underneath. Restoration called for officers' green, both in the compartments and in the passage.

The second TCC project removed furnishings in 0, P, Q, R, S, T, and U and sandblasted and primed the compartments and passage. The also painted some compartments the requisite green. The ship's restoration crew completed the port passage restoration prior to the grand re-opening but has not finished the restoration of the living quarters.

 

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DOCUMENTATION METHODOLOGIES AND PROCEDURES

Planning

Documentation of the ship' s condition was an important part of the research and planning phase. Each compartment was photographed and surveyed by Sue Moss and Orion Knox. The ship's staff had made some earlier attempts to catalog furnishings and fixtures, primarily on the second deck, but this was the first effort to systematically document each compartment at a particular period of time. Each compartment and functional space (with the exception of fuel tanks, blister tanks, water tanks, and voids) was photographed using 35mm, black and white, panchromatic film. At least four shots were taken of each space, recording the whole compartment from various angles. Those photographs with negatives are filed in the Central Battleship Texas Files in the Public Lands Division at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department headquarters in Austin. Copies of the contact sheets and photo logs are filed at the ship in La Porte.

Many compartments had been sealed off when the ship was prepared for memorialization in 1948 and had not been opened since. When those spaces were opened, they were in reasonably good repair if no water had entered; otherwise, the wet/ dry cycles of water entering and evaporating had been very corrosive.

Preparation for Shipyard

In anticipation of shipyard accessibility, the ship's curatorial staff documented the location of and removed all artifacts, removable furnishings, and items of brass in the ship's more than 900 compartments. Selected compartments that did not require shipyard access were secured to protect their contents. Artifacts included old navigation gear, ship' s papers and records, historic photographs, and the various personal items left aboard by more than 30 years of Navy men. Each artifact was tagged, its location noted in a comprehensive register of artifacts, and stored with other items from the compartment. Fragile items were stored in stable environments off the ship. (See Artifact Curation for details.)

Shipyard Documentation

The major duties of the curatorial staff during the shipyard restoration included cataloguing artifacts and historic fabric removed from the ship and recording the daily progress of the various facets of the project. Daily progress records included entries in the daily log and photo-documentation--both black-and-white for record purposes and color slides. Curatorial staff was always available to provide information to the project manager and the project inspectors on the historical significance of various items of the ship's fabric.

 

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In addition to the daily photo record, photo-documentation was also done when specific items were completed:

Hull Restoration
photographed after sandblasting
photographed after hull survey and marking

Topside
photographed after survey and marking

Hatches and Doors
photographed after survey and marking

Decks
photographed after concrete deck removal, survey and marking

Curatorial /cultural resources management staff members were always on hand during the shipyard project to

consult with the project manager and inspectors on progress and scheduling of work;
participate in surveys of the work to be done;
document and record removals of historic fabric through photographs and removal forms;
remove specified artifacts from the ship/shipyard for conservation work; make periodic inspections of the shipyard warehouse to check status and condition of stored items;
make determinations on the disposal of historic fabric; and
compile a daily log of shipyard restoration activities.

Post-Shipyard Project

After Texas left the Todd Shipyard in February 1990, she lay over in a temporary berth in Green's Bayou while the berth at San Jacinto Battleground was being readied, and the wood deck and monopile attachments were installed. The same system of curatorial and cultural resource management responsibilities was in place, and interior work proceeded according to work orders based on compartment analysis and extensive paint documentation. The same photo-documentation of work progress prevailed, and daily log entries continued to be made.

 

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THE REPORT OF THE NAVAL ARCHITECT

Edwin F. Phillips Associates, Inc., Dickinson, made an extensive survey of the Battleship Texas in 1984 and the early part of 1985 and presented a restoration report to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department July 31, 1985 [U.S.S. Texas: Repair and Restoration]. This report formed the basis of the repair and restoration program. The preliminary budget in the report was presented to Congress and used for further fundraising. Phillips' s most profound conclusion was that the ship was sound enough to undergo the stresses of drydocking:

While piping and mechanical systems in the vessel are in a deplorable condition, it is believed by this office that provided the recommendations for local structural reinforcement are followed that the vessel may be dry-docked safely. Further, the proposed dry-docking, together with the recommendations for cleaning, coating, repair and refurbishing of the vessel's hull, deck and superstructure should be effected as soon as is practicable. [p. 1]2

The report examined the various aspects of the ship and made recommendations for repair and restoration work that were generally followed in the development of plans and specifications for the shipyard work.

Hull Condition above Doublebottoms and within Deep Tanks (Interior Hull)

Phillips declared "The interior hull structural condition generally is believed to be structurally sound [however] ... the vessel leaked significantly since before her delivery to the State of Texas. Subsequent lack of maintenance and uninformed modification by Owner and Crew has compounded the problems. . ." and he identified various localized wastages caused by

leakage into the hull from waterways, port and starboard
leakage from wasted piping
leakage from wasted watertight vents
leakage through main and superstructure decks
leakage through improper changes to drainage systems
leakage through rudder post packing
leakage through seams and rivets
leakage through unsecured ports, leaky seals and hold coamings and wasted knife edges
leakage within the hull of tank contents through seams and loose rivets leakage within the hull through wasted scupper, sounding tubes and other piping

The correction of these hull problems and repair of the wasted areas presented a major challenge to the restoration principles contained in the master plan. The naval architect noted, "Structural repair and replacement, where needed, will be very difficult to accomplish by the original method of construction. Riveted construction


2 Bracketed page numbers refer to the Phillips and Associates report.
 

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has not been used in new Marine construction for many years. Very few competent riveting teams remain in existence within the United States." Phillips recommended, and the planning team concurred, that modern welding and coating technologies would have to be used in most repairs to ensure the long life of the repairs and thus the watertight integrity of the hull. [p. 4]

Structural Integrity of the Innerbottom and Deep Tanks

Access to the innerbottom and deep (side) tanks was limited due to flooded tanks, bunker oil-laden tanks, and corroded access covers. According to Phillips, "Approximately thirty-seven percent of the double-bottom area is under hydrostatic pressure from the sea and generally may not be opened for inspection safely. . . ." [p. 5]

While a complete structural analysis of these tanks would have to await drydocking, the ship's corroded piping system was believed to be the cause of much of the ingress of water and of providing communication between flooded tanks.

The report recommended dealing with the causes of the flooding by blanking all penetrations through the original hull plating. Bottom and interior blister tank bulkheads should be cropped clear and closed with blank flanges welded to the hull plating. Further, all piping with the exception of sounding tubes passing from or through double-bottom and deep tanks should be cut off clear of tank boundary plating and the openings closed to preclude further flooding from failed piping. [p. 6]

Rudder and Propeller Shaft Water Seals

According to the 1948 BuShips reports, the ship's propeller tubes had been sealed with blank flanges welded over the tube ends. While there was no evidence that these were faulty, these areas should be checked thoroughly and repaired as necessary.

The rudder shaft, however, was a different story. The rudder packing had leaked since 1916 and had demanded continual repacking. Phillips noted,

The original leak has caused immense structural damage during the vessel's lay-up [since 1948] and may not be considered as stopped even now. It is recommended that when drydocked the Rudder be removed from the shaft by unbolting the Rudder Shaft Palm, then removing the Pintles. The shaft may then be dropped and removed, by cutting the shaft if necessary. [p. 7]

The removal of the rudder, even though the ship would never be under her own control again, seemed a drastic measure to the planning team. There was no denying that the leaks in the after steering room had caused a great deal of damage to that compartment and may have compromised the structural integrity of the stern. Nonetheless, a complete examination of the rudder and shaft would have to await drydocking. Closure of the tube was essential to the long-term preservation of the hull. [p. 7]

 

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Enabling of the Ventilation System

Although the Navy had installed a partial dehumidification system in the ship in 1948, by the mid 1960s it was no longer operating and much of the ship had no regular air exchange. This posed a particular problem in the public areas where the air could be stifling in the summer and in areas where condensation almost turned to rain during seasonal changes or abrupt temperature fluctuations. Using the ship's own system, Phillips recommended ". . .selected ventilation branches be enabled to provide positive pressure ventilation to the extremities of the vessel." [p. 8]

Main and Superstructure Plating in way of Concrete Overlayment

Much of the ship's pine deck dated from her original incarnation and was over 30 years old when the ship was decommissioned in 1948. The war years had not been kind to it, and various captains had complained bitterly about the state of disrepair. The wood decks became more deteriorated after transfer to the State. They were unsightly and contributed to corrosion of the steel deck underneath. In the late 1960s, the Battleship Texas Commission, tired of fighting a losing battle, removed the wood overlayment on both the main deck and 01 levels and replaced it with concrete. While the concrete provided a relatively safe walking surface for the public areas, it was not watertight; instead, acting like a giant sponge, it soaked up water and held it against the steel deck below. As a result, the deterioration of the steel deck was not corrected and was even escalated by the concrete overlayment. The consultant's report strongly recommended removing the concrete, restoring the steel plating and repairing the hatch coaming foundations and knife edges. If funds were available, a wood deck could be reconstructed over the rehabilitated steel plating. [p. 9]

Structural and Weathertight Integrity of Compartments on and above the Main Deck

Phillip' s report minced few words about the condition of the areas above the main deck:

With the exception of the Main Deck compartmentation and the forward superstructure decks up to and including the Flag Bridge Deck, the superstructure is in a state of advanced decomposition. Deck and platform plating within the superstructures are to a large extent wasted through to leave only scale and tatters incapable of supporting the weight of the Surveyor. The stiffeners which support these decks, though not so badly wasted as the plating [,] are in poor condition. Ladders serving these spaces are removed or largely wasted. . . .The condition of these spaces presents a hazzard [sic] to occupants of weather decks below from falling scale. A heavy storm could send pieces or structures by the board. The sides, however, appear relatively sound, though in many places open to the weather. [p. 10]

He cited specific problem areas in the upper foremast structure, the after battery control tower, and the mainmast structure, noting that these problems had accelerated due to lack of maintenance and hazard of access. He went on to comment: "No

 

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Door, Hatch, Portlight or Deadlight surveyed is weathertight. Numerous vents are so corroded about and through their foundations as to leak severely." [p. 11]

The report recommended that these superstructure areas be "restored" to ensure structural and watertight integrity and that provision be made for maintenance accessibility. The naval architect stressed the importance of access for periodic monitoring and maintenance. The planning team also supported the restoration of the exterior appearance of these spaces and accessibility for maintenance, special guided research, or other tours. [p. 12]

Drains and Scuppers

The watertight integrity of the decks had also been compromised by the deterioration and modification of numerous deck drains and lack of attention to the drain and scupper system. The naval architect recommended that "the entire exterior Deck Drain system be restored to original arrangement as practicable to include Deck penetrations [,] and all splash areas be protected. . . . All scuppers and valves should be cleaned and repaired or replaced." [p. 12] With adequate, properly channeled drainage of the ship, much of the water that had presented problems in the past would be carried away. Restoration and reuse of the ship's own system was entirely compatible with the preservation plan' s preservation and development principles.

Electrical System

The ship's wiring system was a mishmash of ill-informed adaptive reuse, modern installations, and occasionally unsafe alterations. The naval architect's survey found that "The Electrical wiring system on the vessel is substantially in acceptable condition and may be reused in place. . . . The original Electrical system was designed for Direct Current which is no longer in use. The parts of the original system reactivated have been converted to Alternating Current for use in lighting and maintenance." His recommendation was to convert the system to alternating current and to reuse and restore as much as necessary for the present functioning of the ship, primarily for lighting and ventilation. [p. 12]

Tank Sounding Tubes

The tank sounding tubes were the most important element in a regular monitoring of the watertight integrity of the hull. Their state was dismal: "All Sounding Tubes on the vessel need maintenance and repair. . . . There is, consequently, no accurate method of gauging the degree of safety of opening man-holes in many of the vessel's tanks." [p. 15]

In order to reinstate the appropriate monitoring of tank conditions, the report recommended "that all Sounding Tubes be cleaned, repaired or replaced as is practicable and that new striker plates be installed." [p. 16]

 

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Crane Renovation

Both port and starboard boat cranes had been neglected over a long period of time and were in poor condition. Shedding of corrosion sometimes even posed a safety problem to visitors below. High and difficult to access, the cranes had had little maintenance, except a very occasional new coat of paint sprayed from below.

There was no utility to be had by returning the cranes to a working condition, but it was recommended "that the Cranes be structurally repaired and recoated with a long service coating." With these repairs, they would present a historical appearance, and they could also be periodically accessed and maintained. [p. 16]

Blister Tanks

The blister tanks of the Battleship Texas had been installed in 1925-1927 as protection against torpedo attack. They ran, port and starboard, roughly from frame 15 aft to 126. The naval architect's survey found them to be in an advanced state of disrepair.

The most significant problem discovered during the survey of the vessel is the severe deterioration of the Blister tank plating and supporting structure. All but two of the Blister tanks inspected are in free communication to the sea. During low tide, holes through the tank plating may be viewed from the dike in numerous locations along the full length of the tanks both Port and Starboard. The interior structure wherever viewed is ineffective due to the degree of corrosion wastage. [p. 16]

The report presented several options for the planning team's consideration:

1. total removal tanks without replacement
2. removal of the tanks and replacement with welded steel structure from tank tops to below waterline only
3. removal of the tanks and replacement with a complete tank with welded steel structure
4. cleaning and coating tanks as they are, closing sides with glass-reinforced plastic and opening the tank bottoms to free-flood
5. cleaning and coating the tanks as they are and reinforcing plating and interior plating structure with epoxy

Looking at the costs of the various options, the consultant recommended " removal and discarding of the lower 24 feet of the Blister Tanks and the structural replacement or repair of the tanks from the 24 foot waterline up." While this would have given the appearance, except in extremely low water, of the torpedo blister structure, the planning team was hesitant to condone such a drastic removal of historic fabric. Therefore, the shipyard development plans included two alternates--one calling for the consultant's recommendation and the other calling for the repair and restoration of the tanks through their whole length [p. 17].

 

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Docking Keels

The ship's docking plan, made available to the naval architect, showed teak-capped docking keels, port and starboard of the centerline, but the docking keels themselves were below the mud line and were not accessible for inspection. A portion of the after starboard docking keel, however, was exposed, and testing indicated that "At all locations checked, the wood was solid and hard indicating the caps to be in acceptable condition. . . . It is reasonable to expect that the Docking Keels may be used as they are for drydocking the vessel." [p. 18]

Mooring

Mooring presented major problems for the redevelopment of the Texas. There was no doubt that a berth in which she floated was far preferable to one in which she was again set hard aground. Floating, her bottom would be accessible for inspection and repairs. The usual systems of lines and winches, however, would be difficult for her small crew to maintain and adjust. These concerns were compounded by the frequent surges of water entering her berth from passing ship traffic in the Houston Ship Channel. Ship channel officials were also concerned that heavy winds and water could break her lines and put her in the channel with no control or power of her own. The naval architect recommended that "Constant Tension Mooring Winches be installed ashore with wire hawsers leading to the vessel ." While this solution recommended itself for its historical appearance, the ship channel authorities urged a more permanent anchoring system, especially a monopile system such as used for off-shore oil platforms [p. 19]. The monopile system was the one eventually adopted and installed. (See Mooring System following.)

 

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PREPARATION FOR TRANSIT

The initial repair phase to prepare for transit and shipyard layover began in May 1987, with the removal of more than one million gallons of oil-contaminated fluids from the ship's tanks and reinforcement of bottom tanks under the engine, steering and steering gear rooms. Some of the fluids had been pumped in when the ship was first berthed, and some was water that had migrated from tanks open to the sea.

Other tanks and compartments in the ship were surveyed for potential leaks. Some tanks and compartments such as the aft trim tanks were repaired and reinforced, and others were sealed off. To preserve the ship' s watertight integrity during transit, 238 watertight doors and manholes below waterline were inspected and regasketed. A donated power generator was installed, and temporary electrical service was routed to various areas of the ship for lighting and to operate emergency pumps during the tow. The hydrofill surrounding the ship was dredged from the stern to provide an exit channel. These operations received occasional photo-documentation, but further documentation was not considered necessary.

A large contingent of Parks and Wildlife Department staff was trained and equipped to act as the ship' s crew during the transit to shipyard. The ship was divided into four below-deck areas conforming to the lateral watertight bulkheads. Each area was assigned a four-to-five person team to monitor the area for leaks while underway and to initiate pumping and other emergency procedures. Additionally, crews were trained to tend the lines and connectors with the tugboats. Support and communications staff, also agency personnel, filled out the complement.

All preparations were coordinated and reviewed by the U. S. Coast Guard, the Port of Houston Authority, and the Houston and Galveston Pilots Associations.

The ship had been sunk in approximately 12 feet of hydrofill, and pulling her free took more than six hours and six large tugboats. Once in the channel, however, the transit proceeded at 5 to 10 knots. The forward two sections of the ship maintained their watertight integrity during the tow. The aft sections, however, began taking water shortly after the ship was underway, with a serious breach just forward of the engine rooms. The crew had three 4-inch pumps and two 2-inch pumps in continuous service. During the nine-plus hour transit, the ship's draft increased 18 to 20 inches in the stern. Texas went on the yard's floating drydock at approximately 10:30 pm on December 13, 1988, at high tide with only six inches to spare.

 

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SHIPYARD RESTORATION PROJECT

Project 437-002 for Repair and Restoration of the Battleship Texas (BB-35) was based on the plans and specifications prepared by Edwin Phillips, Naval Architect, with assistance from Strafford Morss, Project Manager; Wilson E. Dolman, Parks Division Director; Orion Knox, Budget Manager; Sue Moss, Historian Planner, and Richard Frenzel, Chief Project Inspector for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The project was put out for competitive bidding according to the construction contracting rules and regulations established by the Texas State Legislature, the State General Services and Purchasing Commission, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Two mandatory pre-bid conferences were held aboard the Battleship Texas with prospective bidders, in order to ensure some familiarity with the ship and the scope of the project.

Bids were opened at 2:00 pm October 18, 1988, at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department headquarters in Austin, Texas. Bids were received from Todd Shipyards, Galveston Division ($5,136,583 including alternates) and Bethelem Steel Corporation, Beaumont ($7,471,976). The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorized awarding the contract to the low bidder, Todd Shipyards, Galveston, on November 3, 1988.

The base bid included

general shipyard services hull piping systems
oil containment tank interconnection
gas freeing stern tubes and struts
drydocking scupper chutes
hull, blister and inner bottom repairs painting
blister tank repairs condition surveys
rudder removal and repairs  

Alternates included

superstructure repairs repairs to deck fittings
removal of concrete decking and repairs to steel deck repairs to masts and platforms
turret weather screens repairs main stack repairs
repairs to hatches, scuttles, manholes, portlights repairs boat cranes
painting and coating underwater body chloride decontamination

Since the condition of the underwater hull would not be known until after drydocking and the subsequent hull survey, many of the alternates were not accepted until after the survey was completed.

The plans and specifications had been guided closely by the preservation planning document and the report of the naval architect. The project was considered historic restoration, and a permit (Antiquities Permit #HS-44) was drawn from the Texas

 

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Antiquities Committee in compliance with the Texas Antiquities Code. Bidders were served notice of the Antiquities Code in the bid documents and their expected compliance. [Unless otherwise stated, the source of the following is from the Plans and Specifications Document.]

At the beginning of the General Conditions, the specifications stated: "The Battleship Texas (BB-35) has been designated a National Historic Landmark, a National Engineering Landmark and a State Archeological Landmark. Accordingly, the Antiquities Code of Texas, Article 6145 of Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes, applies to this project. Violations of the code are subject to penalties as provided by law." [General Conditions 2]

The General Conditions further noted that the contractor was responsible for the security of the ship's historic components and "shall provide protection as necessary to prevent damage to the existing (historic) fabric of the ship." The ship's restoration crew had built plywood boxes around artifacts that could not be removed from the ship, and these were also noted in the documents. Further security requirements included a 24-hour watch on board and spot checks of containers leaving the ship for the duration of the project.

The Contractor was put on particular notice of the purpose of the project on the first page of the Special Conditions:

It is intended that the Vessel shall serve as a floating museum to be maintained by a permanent custodial crew and will be visited by general public.

The Vessel will be moored in a protected slip and will be subject to wind and weather.

It is intended that the entire exterior of the Vessel be made water- and/or weather-tight as appropriate and approved.

Except as otherwise specified herein, it is not intended to operate any of the Vessel's machinery, armament batteries or piping systems. [Special Conditions: 1]

The terms "Historic," "Historic Fabric," and "Historic Period" were defined "to mean the material condition of the Vessel and Vessel's equipment and contents during the period of her Pacific Fleet service in 1945." All items removed from the ship were to be assessed by the owner for historical significance. Those items considered to be historically significant or reusable by the owner remained the property of the state and were stored separately from scrap items in a secured, enclosed warehouse. [Special Conditions: 3]

Drydocking

Drydocking was the first order of business, and the shipyard was required to "furnish a sound dock, dockmaster, qualified personnel and necessary equipment to dock the Vessel." The Todd Shipyard provided the "Big T" drydock, one of two in the state capable of handling the tonnage of Texas. While she is not exceptionally long by today's commercial or military standards, her displacement, due to armored components, was in the upper limits of the drydock. [Special Conditions: 6]

 

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Once on the dock, water and other fluids poured from the ship's tanks, and great clumps of mud and debris detached. The yard, following the contract, used a high pressure water blast to clean the hull for a detailed inspection. The water blasting, however, was not sufficient for the ultrasonic survey, and sand-blasting at regular intervals was necessary to complete the hull survey.

Structural Hull, Superstructure and Deckhouses

The extent of hull, innerbottom and triple bottom repair was determined following drydocking and after the joint survey. Estimates of poundage and square footage given in the bid documents were for estimating purposes only.

A historic specification for welding could not be used, since there was little historic welding in the ship's structure. Instead, welding procedures were governed by industry standards: the American Bureau of Shipping's "Rules for Building and Classing Vessels," 1985; "Rules for Nondestructive Inspection of Hull Welds" 1986; and "Approved Welding Electrodes, Wire-Flux and Wire-Gas Combinations," July 1982.

The historic thickness of the ship's bottom steel ranged from 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch; however, due to wastage and in the interest of cost-effectiveness, the decision was made to utilize 1/2 inch steel only, even in those areas where 5/8 inch steel was historic.

In order to keep the historic appearance and integrity of the ship intact, the plans required that "Structural repair shall be performed to result in a structural appearance, to the maximum extent practicable, identical to the condition of the Vessel's structure at the time of her Pacific Fleet service in 1945, the Historic Period." Minor structural changes in the interest of structural soundness and stability could be made if approved by the owner. [Special Conditions: 9-13]

The Special Conditions went even further in dictating how replacement and repairs were to be made:

Structural replacement shall be of the same scantlings as originally installed whenever such scantlings are commercially available. Wherever the material to meet the original scantlings is not commercially available, the next larger commercially available scantling shall be furnished and used...

The existing Vessel structure is riveted, except as otherwise specified. The Contractor may employ welded insert plates in the repair of deficient and damaged hull scantlings as approved. Such welded repairs shall be designed to avoid the introduction of stress concentration points or large interior hard patches. The cross of a riveted seam with a welded seam shall be avoided. The crossing of both butts of any hull or deck plate with welded inserts shall be avoided. [Special Conditions: 13]

The riveted plate, one of the most historically significant aspects of the ship's structure, was also one of the most deteriorated. While the naval architect and planning team had anticipated some rivet repair, the hull and subsequent surveys

 

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disclosed numerous loose or failing rivets. Even though the structural integrity of the joining system was not compromised, the loose rivets were a major source of water in the ship's outer tanks. The plans had said (too optimistically), "It is not expected or desired to seal weld rivet heads or driven shanks. Rivets which are structurally unsound shall be replaced with similar rivets or with lock bolts as approved by Owner." [Special Conditions: p. 13] In actuality, however, thousands of rivet heads were seal-welded as the only practical solution to the problem.

In spite of the inaccessibility of much of the ship's bottom, the naval architect's material condition survey had revealed a considerable number of repairs, and these were specified when possible.

Those areas of the hull structure known to be in disrepair included:

Inner Bottom Plating in compartments:

D-10
B-4-5-W
A-25-M-P
C-3
C-1
C-2
C-17

Bottom (Shell Plating) Repairs in compartments.

D-12-V
D-99-V
D-98-F
D-97-F
C-99-F
C-93-F
C-91-F
B-99-V
B-98-V
B-97-W
B-96-W
B-94-W
B-93-W
B-92-W
B-91-W
B-90-W
B-86-F
B-87-F
B-88-V
B-89-V
A-97-F
A-84-F
D-26-P-V
D-26-S-V

Repairs were also to be made to blank off the fuel tank heating coil penetrations in way of the inner bottom plating (approximately 6 square feet each) in compartments:

D-98-F
D-97-F
C-91-F
C-92-F
C-93-F
B-86-F
B-87-F
A-97-F
A-98-F

Side (Blister) Tanks

Of the four options proposed by the naval architect for treatment of the blister tanks, two were included as alternates in the bid document:

(1) repair tanks to structurally sound and watertight condition over full height and length, including fore and aft intra-tank blanking; or

(2) repair tanks from the 24-foot waterline upward and remove portion below with installation of new tank bottoms at the 24-foot waterline long the full longitudinal extent of the structure port and starboard.

The first option, of course, was the preferable from a historical integrity standpoint, and funding was sufficient after the bids were taken to it. The blister tanks on the

 

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port side were in much worse condition than those starboard, probably because of an accident during the ship' s career that scraped and bruised the portside blisters. Repairs were made, and the blister tanks were intact and watertight for their full length at the end of the shipyard project. [Special Conditions: 17]

Main and Superstructure Decks (alt)

The shipyard contract called for the removal of the concrete overlayment on the main and first superstructure decks and the 1960s wood decks in the aircastles. The "lightweight" concrete proved to be more tenacious in its hold on the decks than had been anticipated. The steel reinforcing and density of the material challenged the hand-held jackhammers that were initially used. The yard then mounted a large jackhammer on the front of a Bobcat front-end loader and made better progress. The Bobcat loosened large chunks of the concrete that were further broken up and hauled away. Clean-up jobs around the hatches and fittings were also done with hand-held equipment. The wood was easily pulled up by hand tools.

After concrete and wood removal, the joint survey of exposed decks indicated that the after portions of the main deck were especially deteriorated. This was probably due to the fore to aft trim of the ship and the consequent migration of water aft under the concrete. The deck did remain uncovered at the yard for a lengthy period of time, and rainwater as well as cleaning water made its way into various compartments on the second deck and below. While there was little permanent damage done that was not repaired by the shipyard, the water intrusion was frustrating and difficult to deal with. [Special Conditions: 17]

Required Main Deck Repairs (alt)

While the survey following the concrete overlay removal had defined the total extent of deck replacement, much of the wasted deck had earlier been visible from below and was pointed out in the specifications. Although inserts as small as possible were called for, the extent of the corrosion was evident from replacement inserts in some areas as large as 16 feet by 16 feet.

This section of the specifications also included the fabrication and installation of foundations for "six (6) Owner-furnished 40 mm AA quad gun mounts as shown on Booklet of General Plans to Owner' s approval and per Contract Guidance Plans." In order to restore the ship to her appearance of 1945, the 1.1 inch quads installed in 1948 had to be replaced with quad-mounted 40mms. These particular 1.1 inchers were not historic to Texas, and she had not carried any at all after September 1943. Only six foundations had been called for by the plans. Forty millimeter mounts were very difficult to secure at the time, and six were considered to be the maximum obtainable in the foreseeable future. Additional guns, however, did become available during the project. Two additional foundations were installed in the shipyard on the main deck, and two pedestals were placed on the 01 level during the shipyard project. Two additional foundations were installed by the ship's restoration crew and volunteers prior to reopening in September 1990. [Special Conditions: 18-19]

 

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Rudder Removal and Aperture Repair

As noted previously, the rudder aperture packing had been a source of leaks since the ship's earliest days and had caused significant damage in the after steering room and adjoining compartments following the decommissioning. In order to seal the rudder packing leak, the plans called for removing the rudder and blanking the aperture. After the underwater hull survey, however, it was apparent that the aperture could be sealed without removing the rudder. Too, the rudder angle had not caused the problems during transit that had been previously anticipated. The blank was put in, and the rudder was left in place, cocked at a slight angle. [Special Conditions: 21]

Docking and Bilge Keels

Since the docking and bilge keels were not visible prior to drydocking, provision had been made in the specifications for any necessary repairs. The survey of the docking and bilge keels, however, revealed that the keels were in good shape for the most part and required little repair. [Special Conditions: 21-22]

Required Repairs (alt)

The naval architect's original material condition report listed a number of repairs to the deckhouses, decks, and bulwarks required on main deck and above. For the most part, these repairs were necessary to restore and maintain the watertight integrity of the various compartments and to restore the ship's historic appearance. These were individually called out in the specifications. Representative items included repairing deteriorated chafing bars around line-passing ports, installing watertight inserts where plating had failed, repairing watertight doors and portlights, and repairing deteriorated deck plating. [Special Conditions: 22-24]

Chain Lockers (alt)

The ship' s ground tackle had not been removed from the chain lockers since before 1948. The contract specifications required that anchor chains and chain lockers be cleaned and coated. The structure and fittings were to be included in the hull survey and repairs made as necessary. The lockers were in remarkably good shape and required little repair. The cleaning and coating were carried out per specification. [Special Conditions: 24]

Hold (alt)

The ship' s Boiler Rooms (B-2, B-3, and B-4) were scheduled for significant plating repairs. An estimated 4500 square feet of triple bottom (bilge) plating and fifteen watertight access scuttles were to be replaced and repaired. Funds were not available for this aspect of the project, and this alternate was not taken.

 

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Turret Weather Screens (alt)

The turret weather screens had badly deteriorated and were no longer effectively shielding the turret training mechanism. While there was no intention to restore the training mechanisms, repair of the weather screens was necessary to halt further deterioration. The specifications called for removing deteriorated and corroded areas and replacing with welded inserts and doubler plates. The intention, however, was to simulate the historic appearance and restore the weather screens to weather-tight condition. Missing machine screws and rivet heads were simulated by attaching screw and rivet heads with epoxy. The screens had badly deteriorated, and attempts on the part of the contractor to replace as little of the material as possible did not have the desired result. Consequently, many of the screens on all five turrets were refabricated. [Special Conditions: 25]

Doors, Hatches, Scuttles, Manholes, Portlights and Line-passing Ports (alt)

The ship' s exterior doors, hatches, scuttles, manholes, portlights, and line-passing ports had lost much of their watertight integrity, and the specifications called for wholesale reconditioning and repairs. Doors, hatches and manholes were catalogued and removed from the ship for repairs in the shipyard's machine shop. After discussion with yard personnel, the team determined that the specifications called for the doors, hatches and manholes to be restored to their historic watertight condition by using historical gasketing methods and materials. All doors and hatches through the main deck and above were included in this item. Coaming repairs were also made at this time. [Special Conditions: 26]

Deck Fittings (alt)

Selected deck fittings were tagged and removed after the concrete deck removal. Some were reinstalled after the wood deck replacement, while others are still in storage. [Special Conditions: 27]

Masts, Yards and Fittings

According to the specifications, the fore- and mainmasts were to be "restored to appearance of the ship as shown on the Contract Guidance Plans [1945]...." The restoration included yards, top and stub masts, supports, ladders, hatches, standing rigging and fittings. The mast legs, the major structural support of the mast houses, were of particular importance. Welded doubler plates had previously been installed to reinforce deteriorated plating, and the contract called for the removal of these plates and replacement with insert plates or pad welding. Yards were lowered to the deck and repaired. Nets were repaired or replaced, and ladders were removed and repaired or replaced as necessary.

In order to facilitate repairs, the contractor removed the foretop above the CIC and set it on the dock to work on the mast house and make other repairs. Foremast

 

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repairs included remounting the SG radar antenna, replacing deteriorated plate, repairing the foundation and pedestal of the absent Mark 3 fire control antenna, and replacing deteriorated plating and handrails.

Mainmast restoration was performed in situ and included reinstallation of SG radar antenna, deck repair and replacement, replacement of the three shrouds forming the main topmast, standing rigging of decks and platform structures, installation of fabricated SK antenna, and handrail repairs and replacement. [Special Conditions: 28-29]

Mast Houses and After Fire Control Tower Interior

It was the intention of the specifications that the mast houses and the after fire control tower be made watertight and be restored to their 1945 appearances. The historic windows in the foretop and the after fire control tower had been removed and the openings plated over at sometime after the ship's arrival at San Jacinto. The contract called for the removal of the plating and the fabrication of windows to match the historic windows--some of which were stored on the ship. Replicating the historic windows proved to be more cost-effectively and appropriately done by the ship's own restoration crew, and the fabrication was deleted from the contract. Prior to the contractor' s removal of the plating, the ship's curatorial staff removed all artifacts. The equipment was appropriately tagged and stored and is available for reinstallation. These high areas of the ship will not be open for public viewing, and the equipment is better curated in storage than if reinstalled at the present time.

All exterior plating was repaired to a watertight condition. The deck plating dividing the various levels in the foretop and after fire control tower was badly deteriorated. Removable, galvanized, square bar deck grating was installed in its place to facilitate ventilation of areas and maintenance.

After protecting any wiring and remaining equipment, the contractor sandblasted and coated the interiors of all mast houses. [Special Conditions: 30-34]

Ground Tackle

The anchors and full length of anchor chain were lowered to the pontoon top. They and all other ground tackle including chain stoppers were cleaned by sandblasting and coated. [Special Conditions: 35]

Hull Piping Systems

The ship's piping system had been responsible for the loss of much of the ship's watertight integrity, and the following systems were included in this contract:

deckhouse weather drains
sounding tubes for interconnected tanks
air escapes for interconnected tanks
fuel oil tank vent headers and terminal risers
main and superstructure scuppers
 

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The piping replacements and/or repairs conserved as much historic fabric as possible, and piping locations and sizes were not changed. Replacement parts matched the sizes originally installed. Deck plates identifying the piping conformed to U. S. Navy standards and included the year of installation, "1989." [Special Conditions: 35-36]

Sounding Tubes and Vents

Sounding tubes were blanked or restored in accordance with commonization of tanks. Active sounding tubes were replaced through their entire length for the most part, and unserviceable striking plates were replaced. To ensure watertightness, sounding tubes terminating below the third deck were fitted with bronze self-closing gate valves at the upper ends.

Active air escape piping and fittings associated with the commonized tanks were replaced through and below the third deck; those above the third deck were cleared to the vent header or terminal.

Redundant sounding tubes and air escapes and those not serving commonized tanks were blanked watertight at the upper boundary of the tanks or compartments served, as well as at each compartment boundary below the level of the third deck. [Special Conditions: 36-37]

Deck Drains

All deckhouse weather drain piping was replaced in its historic location. Main deck and superstructure drains and scuppers were cleaned, repaired, and made functional. [Special Conditions: 38]

Main Stack (alt)

The smoke pipe had been blanked when the ship was fitted for transfer to the state. The contractor removed the blanking and fabricated new smoke pipe and umbrella blanks, securing a watertight seal. [Special Conditions: 40]

Tank Interconnection

Tank commonization was recommended by the naval architect "to reduce the number of tank and cofferdam spaces in the Vessel in order to facilitate cleaning, ventilation, maintenance and repair of the Vessel." The limited size of the ship' s maintenance crew would never match the historical ship's maintenance crew, and longterm upkeep demanded that some measure be taken for maintenance purposes. The tanks were usually connected by cutting limber and vent holes through interior floors, bulkheads and girders 1.5 inches in diameter. In other cases, bolted manhole covers were removed, but left beside the manhole, at the ready. Only connections that would not compromise the structural integrity of the ship and her basic compartmentalization were made. [Special Conditions: 41 and Table 12]

 

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New individual tank suction piping was installed in accordance with the tank commonization plan. Each valve was identified by an engraved plate which also included the year of installation, "1989." [Special Conditions: 42]

Hull Penetrations, Sea Valves, and Sea Chests

Hull penetrations had also been identified as sources of water intrusions, and the drydock work provided the opportunity to inspect all existing underwater hull penetration fittings and blanks. While the Navy had blanked most penetrations in 1948, those blanks had obviously corroded and needed replacement. All valves and other fittings in the way of blanking penetrations were tagged, removed, inventoried, and stored with the other artifacts of the ship, where they will be available for study and exhibition.

New blanks were externally applied by welding using 25.5# steel blanking plate. Table 14-1 lists each penetration blanked and the method used.[Special Conditions: 43-44]

Stern Tubes and Struts

The condition and method of sealing the stern tubes was unclear prior to drydocking, and the outboard ends of the tubes were scheduled to be blanked. However, upon examination after drydocking, it was evident that the tubes had been blanked previously, and the struts had been cut off at the hull. No action was required on the struts, and new blanks were welded over the stern tube openings. [Special Conditions: 45]

Scupper Chutes

The scupper chutes were in some disrepair, and some had been modified and cut off. The contractor repaired and restored the scupper chutes to their historic configuration and operation as an integral part of the ship's drainage system. They were removed for access to the overboard discharges and replaced after repairs, restoration, and coating. [Special Conditions: 46]

Boat Cranes (alt)

The ship' s cranes were badly deteriorated. While they were not to be restored to working order, the specifications did call for them to be "restored structurally and cosmetically." Since they were not to be operational, replacement items did not have to be in working order and could be "dummy" replications. As restored, the cranes have their historic appearance and configuration. [Special Conditions: 47]

 

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Markings

The specifications called for the ship to have her historic markings restored. Analysis of historic photographs determined the size and location of her markings. They were reapplied accordingly. [Special Conditions: 48]

Splinter Screens (alt)

Most of the historic splinter screens protecting the ship's deck armament and gun directors had been removed to improve deck access when the ship was brought to Texas in 1948. Restoration of the 1945 appearance required that the shields be restored. Footprints of many of the screens had been apparent, and with the removal of the concrete deck overlayment, the footprints of the rest came into view, as well as the footprints of shielding that had been removed prior to 1945. A complete photographic record of the deck was made in order to document all the prior screen placements.

Using the Contract Plan BU C and R No. 17021 and the deck evidence, the contractor cleaned, repaired, restored, and coated all the splinter shields on the main deck to the ship' s 1945 configuration. [Special Conditions: 49]

Painting and Cementing

Restoration of the ship to 1945 required the restoration of the Camouflage Measure 21 scheme she used in the Pacific Theater, featuring a dark blue paint on the verticals and a steel blue paint on the horizontal surfaces, including the wood decks.

Most of the ship' s exterior surfaces had been sandblasted a number of times, and paint documentation was thought to be generally fruitless. There were, however, several areas that had been sheltered, particularly in the aircastles, and these contained remnants of historic paint that were documented. The blue paint that formed the vertical color for Camouflage Measure 21 was apparent in these sheltered areas and was used to match the final color.

Surface preparation required removal of all previous coatings by sandblasting in order to ensure good adhesion. Most of the paint that was removed by sandblasting was not historic, having been applied since berthing at San Jacinto.

Above the waterline, the hull received a zinc-rich epoxy primer, an epoxy intermediate, coating and a silicone alkyd top coat.

The underwater hull received special treatment with a high-tech epoxy coating, the last of six coats being boot-top black. To avoid fleeting the ship more than once, the contractor proposed an underwater application of an epoxy-style coating to cover the docking block spots that were obscured on the drydock. After several months of experimentation, however, it became clear that the product was not effective, and the ship was fleeted twice more before she left the yard. [Special Conditions: 51-61]

 

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After consultation with the shipyard and the technical representative of Ameron Marine Coatings Division, the following coatings were used by the yard:

Keel to Top of Boot-top

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat #182 Amercoat (Holding Primer) 2 Mils DFT
1 - Stripe Coat (rivets, seams) #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Red Oxide 4 Mils DFT
1 - Full coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 4 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Red Oxide 4 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 4 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Black 4 Mils DFT

Top of Boot-top to Main Deck including Side Shell at Aircastles

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat Dimetcote #D9FT 3 Mils DFT
Subsequent repairs: touch up with #68A Zinc Rich Primer
1- Full Coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 8 Mils DFT
1- Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT

Main Deck

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1- Full Coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 8 Mils DFT
Subsequent repairs: touch up with #68A and #385

01 Level Deck

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat Dimetcote #D9FT 3 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 6 Mils DFT
Areas not covered with deck planking
1 - Full Coat Amerlock #400 Dark Gray 8 Mils DFT

Superstructure Decks above 01 Level

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat Dimetcote #D9FT 3 Mils DFT
I - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 8 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT

Aircastles, Bulkheads and Overheads

Blast SSPC-SP6 Commercial
1 - Full Coat 68A 3 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Pearl Gray 6 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 White 2.5 Mils DFT

Waterways, Hand Rails, Hatch Covers and Coamings

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat Dimetcote #D9FT 3 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Amercoat Red Oxide 8 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT
 

35
 
Deck Machinery and Fittings
Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal 3 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat Dimetcote #D9FT 8 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT

Anchors

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat Amercoat #385 Red Oxide 6 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT

Anchor Chains

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat Amercoat #385 Red Oxide 6 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Black 2.5 Mils DFT

14-Inch Turrets and Armor Plating

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat #68A Zinc Rich 3 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Red Oxide 6 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT

Mainmast and Foremast Superstructures

Blast SSPC-SP10 Near White Metal
1 - Full Coat #68A Zinc Rich 3 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #385 Red Oxide 6 Mils DFT
1 - Full Coat #AMTC 319 Pacific Blue 2.5 Mils DFT

Blasting and Coating Procedures were adopted to ensure a high-quality application of coatings. Included were instructions to (1) square up blast preparation at the end of each day (shift) pending weather conditions; i.e., start at the top and work down; (2) paint out all blasted areas after inspection (same day) and make paint touch-up by brush application (same day); and (3) complete all of the previous day' s pick-up as soon as possible or no later than the next day.

star

When Texas left Todd Shipyard on February 23, 1990, she was watertight and ready for installation of the wood deck and the mooring attachments and the further restoration needed before opening once again for public viewing.

 

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WOOD DECK RESTORATION PROJECT

The installation of the ship's wood deck was one of the most important aspects of the restoration project. As well as providing a key visual clement for the historic period, a properly installed wood deck was essential to the overall goal of watertight integrity.

The concrete overlayment had exacerbated the problems of corrosion and wastage of the steel deck begun by the rotting and failing historic wood deck. The ship's records revealed that much of the wood deck that had been removed by Battleship Commission was original to the ship, having been installed when she was constructed in 1914. Even the 1925-27 modernization had not replaced the decks, even though recommended by the ship's captain. Repairs were made to various areas of the decks over the years, and the result was a combination of the original pine, fir, and some teak, especially around the World War II gun emplacements. A few remnants of the historic deck were uncovered when the Commission's concrete and wood decks were removed, and some of these have been saved in the ship's historic fabric collection.

In June 1989, after the shipyard contract was well underway, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorized the expenditure of $1,500,000 for the restoration of the ship's wood deck. The contract was awarded to Jerdon Corporation and work began in January 1990 before the ship left the yard. The installation was completed in the spring of 1991.

The plans and specifications for the wood deck were prepared by Richard Frenzel and Orion Knox and reviewed and sealed by James D. Bigger, Jr.. Using the ship's own plans and observations of other historic ship's wood decks, especially USS Alabama, plans were prepared indicating typical planking details; stranded deck fitting details; margins at square, rectangular and circular objects; gun foundations; stuffing tube details; and seals at raised equipment foundations. As with all projects associated with the agency's historic sites and structures, the specifications noted that the Antiquities Code of Texas applied to the project. All components of the vessel were considered historic fabric, remained the property of the state, and were to be protected by the contractor.

The plans called for the restoration of the wood deck on the main deck and 01 level. This included repairs and replacement as necessary to the waterway angle, the equipment foundations and margins, re-installation of several historic deck fittings, gun foundations margins, bulwark stiffener frame footings, and miscellaneous deck plates. Welding procedures conformed to American Bureau of Shipping and American Welding Society rules and regulations. This work, by necessity, preceded laying of the wood decking.

 

38
 
The wood planking and margin strikes were specified according to the historic dimensions:
Main Deck Planking: 3 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 16 ft minimum lengths on open runs
Superstructure Deck (01 level) Planking: 2 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in x 16 in minimum lengths on open runs
Margin Strakes on Main Deck at Vertical Surfaces: 4 in x 6 in minimum
Margin Strakes on Superstructure Deck at Vertical Surfaces: 3 in x 6 in minimum
Margin Strakes on Main Deck at Waterway: 3 1/2 in x 6 in x 12 ft minimum Margin
Strakes on Superstructure Deck at Waterway: 2 1/2 in x 6 in minimum x 12 ft minimum

After the contract was underway, further examination of the waterway angles, steel margins, and column base heights on the 01 level indicated a deck thickness of 3 1/2 inches. The specifications were modified by change order, and the same size planking and margins as specified for the main deck were used on the 01 level.

The planking specified was Southern Yellow Pine, Dense Standard Decking, S4S with:

firm red heart limited to 15 percent of the face area;
no pith or decayed and hollow knots;
knots limited to 1/4 nominal width on the face;
pith limited to 1/6 length;
no wane on face;
reverse side not below Select Decking grade.

No laminated members were permitted. It is important to note here that the historic deck was primarily pine, with some fir (added in the 1925-27 retrofit, primarily under the aircastles and on the 01 level), and some teak (around the later gun emplacements).

All planking was treated with Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) per American Wood Preservers Standard P-5, Water-Borne Preservatives for above ground use. The retention level was .25 pounds per cubic foot. After the CCA treatment, the wood was kiln-dried to a maximum moisture content of 19 percent. While the specified treatment was not a historic one, it did not change the appearance of the deck once painted and ensured a much longer life than untreated planking.

The steel deck, even after restoration under the shipyard contract, was uneven in places, and an epoxy resin mortar leveling compound (Sikadur 22, Lo-Mod, Sika Corp.) was used to provide a smooth laying surface. The seam sealant was a marine grade, polyurethane elastomeric, SikaFlex 240, Sika Corp. While not the historic material, it approximates the historical look at the seams and provides a longer lasting caulking and bedding than the historic materials.

After evaluating various means of attaching the wood deck, the historic method was adopted. Low carbon, steel studs, 3/8 inches in diameter, were welded to the deck to fasten the planking in place. Stud holes in the wood planks were filled with wood plugs bedded in the Sikaflex. Seams were grooved in the planking following installation to 1/8 inch on either side of the seam. The grooves were filled with

 

39
 
sealant, again approximating the historic appearance of the deck and assuring a close seal between the planking.

To conform to the historic paint scheme of Camouflage Measure 21, the wood deck was coated a gray-blue, using a specified Ameron, Inc., coating system compatible with that used in the shipyard restoration. Although the specifications called for the exposed surfaces to be primed with Ameron 185 All Purpose Primer, the Ameron representative concluded that this formulation would be incompatible with the wood. The majority of the wood deck was primed with Benjamin-Moore Moorwhite Primer 100 with the 01 level primed with diluted Ameron 319 Silicone Alkyd. The intermediate coat was ATMC 319 silicone alkyd with non-skid abrasive, and the finish coat was ATMC Silicone (Ameron Custom Color RT 1603 Blue-Gray), again with a non-skid additive.

 

40
 
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41
 
GUN RESTORATION

The historic armament complement of USS Texas changed dramatically during her career. Only her primary firepower has remained the same. The ten, 14-inch, Mark 3 guns in Mark 12 twin mounts on the ship today are the ones that saw service during the whole of her career. The Navy had proposed to raise the maximum 15 elevation of the guns to 20 during the 1925-27 modernization, but the change was canceled when the British government protested that the alteration would increase their power and thereby violate the Washington Naval Limitations Treaty.

Texas was originally equipped with twenty-one 5-inch, 50 cal. Mark 13 intermediate range guns, nineteen located in casemates on the second deck and two on the first superstructure deck. During refit, the six forwardmost 5-inch guns and mounts were moved to the main deck in the new aircastle, and eight remained on the second deck. By the middle of World War II, the second-deck 5-inchers had been removed, and the casemates plated over. The six 5-inchers in the aircastle are historic to the ship and have been with her throughout her career in one location or another. During the shipyard restoration, the guns (barrels) were sandblasted and coated by the contractor according to the specifications. The mounts were documented, sandblasted with a coarse-grain sand, primed, and painted by the ship' s restoration and operation crews during the layover at Green's Bayou.

The shipyard contract (Special Conditions: p. 3) called for the 3-inch/50 cal., the 1.1-inch quad-mounts, and the 20mm antiaircraft guns and mounts to be "dismounted from their foundations, transported to an enclosed warehouse and stored in a secured area." The guns were tagged for location when removed from ship; they had been documented in ship-wide documentation effort earlier by Moss and Knox.

None of the 3-inch, 1.1-inch , and 20mm guns and mounts on board were carried by Texas during her naval service. They did, however, approximate her historic armament, although the marks and models of guns and mounts are not identical.

The ten 3-inch/50 cal guns ranged on the main and 01 decks were installed in 1948 in lieu of the historic 3-inch/50 cal Mk 21 guns in Single Mk 22 mounts, when the Navy gave the ship to the State. All 3-inch guns and mounts were removed from . the ship during the shipyard restoration project, tagged, and documented. The gun and mount at frame 59, starboard, on the 01 level were sent to International Artifact Conservation and Research Laboratory, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana, for electrolytic conservation. The nine remaining 3-inch guns and mounts were sandblasted with "sugar" sand, primed, and painted by the ship' s crew. All guns were blasted and primed at Todd Shipyard before replacement on the ship. Some were top-coated at Todd and others at Green's Bayou.

While the ship's historic complement of 20mm antiaircraft guns was 44 during the restoration period of 1945, only eight had been installed by the Navy in 1948. None of these were historic to the ship. The 20mm gun and mount at frame 39, starboard, were removed for electrolytic conservation at the New Orleans artifact

 

42
 
conservation laboratory. Like the 3-inchers, the remaining seven 20mms were sandblasted with "sugar" sand, primed and painted by the ship's crew.

Forty-millimeter quad mounts were still important weapons in the nation's naval arsenal in 1948, and Texas's complement of ten were removed at that time and put into service elsewhere. The Navy then installed four 1.1-inch guns in quad mounts for exhibit purposes. While Texas had carried ten of the 1.1-inch quads during the early part of her World War II service, they were not appropriate to the Pacific era of restoration. Removed while in shipyard, the 1.1-inch quads were returned to the Navy. The ship then obtained twelve 40mm guns and mounts from various naval supply sources to restore the ship's historic complement of ten.3

The Naval Weapons Support Center in Crane, Indiana,4 supplied eight mounts, four in March 1989 and four in July, 1990. They have been installed as follows: main deck

01 level
01 level
01 level
main deck
main deck
01 level
02 level
fr. 135 port
fr. 63 stbd
fr. 44 port
fr. 44 stbd
fr. 78 port
fr. 133 stbd
fr. 64 port
fr. 52 port
fantail
forward of crane
forward of conning tower
forward of conning tower
aft of galley
fantail
forward of crane
signal bridge

The Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, supplied four mounts.5 Two were located as follows:

main deck
02 level
fr. 77 stbd
fr. 51 stbd
aft of galley
signal bridge

The ship's gun directors had also been removed. Ten were reinstalled after receipt from the Crane depot (5), the Portsmouth facility (4), and the Curator of the Navy, Henry Vadnais (1). Six were located as follows:

main deck
main deck
flag bridge
mainmast
flag bridge
02 level
fr. 131 port & stbd
fr. 73 port & stbd
fr. 51 stbd
fr. 101 port & stbd
fr. 51 port
fr. 47 port & stbd
fantail
over 40mm ready service room
flag bridge
mainmast
flag bridge
aft of conning tower

After paint removal, either through sandblasting or electrolysis, the guns, mounts, and gun directors on the ship were all coated with a chlorinated rubber primer,


3 Authorization for transfer of guns and mounts to TPWD was supplied by Capt. A. E. Becker, CDR Thomas E, Conner, and Mr. Charles Cart, NAVSEA 00D, Department of the Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command, Congressional and Public Affairs, Washington, D. C., 20362-5101.

4 CDR Carroll D. Bernier and Ms. Patty Price, Department of the Navy, Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane, Indiana, 47522-5011.

5 Mr. Fred Hood, Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Portsmouth, Virginia 23709.

 

43
 
Amercoat 512 (#65), and final-coated with a silicone alkyd finish, Amercoat 319, Federal Standard #15045 (#15). The combination was recommended to withstand the substantial wear-and-tear anticipated on the guns. The finish color matched the historic color of Camouflage Measure 21. The gun restoration was under the direction of Mary Candee, Curatorial Specialist, and was performed by the ship's restoration and curatorial crews.

It should be noted here that the conditions of demilitarization under which Texas was given to the State require that the guns not be operable nor be made operable. Restoration, therefore, has been confined to the appearance of the guns and their continued conservation.

 

44
 
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45
 
MOORING SYSTEM

Mooring presented major problems for the redevelopment of the Texas. The battleship had been hard aground since 1948. Upon arrival at San Jacinto, the ship's "oil and water tanks, including the torpedo blisters, had been flooded with channel water by the Houston fire boat in order to set the ship down on the bottom of the dredged slip with as much weight as possible, for protection against flotation as occasioned by high tides. . . ." Clay fill was then placed around her to a depth of 18 feet "so that for all practical purposes the vessel is landlocked although the vessel has the appearance of normal flotation." 6

She was also tied to the surrounding slip with six wire lines attached to deadmen fore, aft, and midships. The lines, in conjunction with the hydrofilled berth, were designed to prevent the ship from leaving the berth during storm surges. The system, however, conspired to prevent routine maintenance and monitoring of the ship's underwater hull. When taken over by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1983, the ship had received no bottom maintenance and little bottom inspection for 35 years.

A floating mooring system was recommended by the naval architect, and there was no doubt that a berth in which she floated was far preferable to one in which she was again put hard aground. Floating, the ship's bottom would be accessible for inspection and repairs. The naval architect recommended that "Constant Tension Mooring Winches be installed ashore with wire hawsers leading to the vessel. . . . There should be no modification to the vessel required." 7

With the ship's small crew, however, this traditional system of lines and winches was not practical to maintain and adjust. These concerns were compounded by the frequent surges of water entering the berth from passing ship traffic in the Houston Ship Channel. Ship channel officials were also concerned about heavy winds and water breaking lines loose and putting the ship in the channel with no control or power of her own. While the naval architect's initial solution recommended itself for its historical appearance, the ship channel authorities strongly suggested more permanent anchoring systems, especially a monopile system such as used for offshore oil platforms. And the monopile system was the one adopted and installed.

The ship is now attached by large, seven foot-plus collars to four monopiles ranged along the starboard side. The collars are held by large structural boxes hung from starboard structural hull framing. The monopiles were drive to a depth of 70 feet, and the system was designed for 120 mile-per-hour winds. To accommodate the


6ENGINEERING REPORT on Present Status and Proposed Improvements for Area Surrounding Battleship Texas in San Jacinto State Park prepared for Battleship "Texas" Commission, Mr. Lloyd Gregory, Chairman by Cyril S. Adams, P. E. #491
Houston,Texas, November 1948

7 Report of the Naval Architect, p. 19.

 

46
 
mooring system, the berth was dredged to twice its width and to a depth of approximately 30 feet under the ship.
 

47
 
ARTIFACT CURATION AND SHIP'S COLLECTIONS

The ship's curatorial crew was responsible for securing artifacts and brass on the ship prior to the shipyard restoration project. The brass was surveyed, tagged, and removed. More than 2900 pieces of brass were transferred and stored off the ship. In addition the curatorial crew was also responsible for gathering artifacts as compartments were opened, some for the first time since 1948. These artifacts were carefully inventoried, tagged, cleaned, and stored according to the nature of their condition. Those areas, where collection materials (such as pin-ups or drawings on the bulkheads) could not be removed, were secured by locks. Some compartments were even welded shut to minimize vandalism and damage during the shipyard project.

Documents and paper objects were stored in a fairly stable environment. Objects such as light globes, light shades, and tools were stored in marked and numbered boxes with oversized objects on open shelving in a storage shed at the Battleground.

Additional items were found after arrival in shipyard and the staff removed, tagged and stored them.

Stored artifacts are currently being reused as restoration of compartments progresses. There are presently 380 boxes of artifacts in storage.

 

48
 
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49
 
APPENDIX
 

50
 
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51
 

MEMBERS

BATTLESHIP TEXAS
ADVISORY BOARD 1986-1990

Denny G. Hair, Chairman, Houston
Robert D. Miller, Chairman , Houston
Aileen D. Rains, Vice Chairman, Houston
Charles A. Alcorn, Houston
Richard Burt Ballanfont, Houston
Mary C. Burke, Houston
Joe Scott Cathy, Deer Park
Phillip Chumlea, Houston
Gen. Mike P. Cokinos, Beaumont
Caroline K. Gregory, Houston
David A. Jones, Houston
Rosalie L. Kuntz, Pasadena
George W. Strake, III, Houston
Robert L. Waldrop, Houston

 

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53
 

MEMBERS

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE
COMMISSION
1986-1990

Ed Cox, Jr., Chairman, Athens
Chuck Nash, Chairman, Austin
George C. (Tim) Hixon, Vice Chairman, San Antonio
R. L. (Bob) Armstrong, Austin
Lee Marshall Bass, Fort Worth
Henry C. (Peter) Beck, Dallas
Delo H. Caspary, Rockport
John Wilson Kelsey, Houston
Richard Morrison, Houston
Beatrice Carr Pickens, Dallas
A. R. (Tony) Sanchez, Jr., Laredo
William M. Wheless, III, Houston

 

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55
 
PROJECT CONSULTANTS

Naval Architecture

Edwin F. Phillips, President
Edwin F. Phillips Associates, Inc.
Dickinson, Texas

Directed a team of associates in the analysis, design, and preparation of construction documents for the restoration of the Battleship Texas; expertise included piping design, safety requirements, oil removal, ballast removal, structural and mechanical design, electrical design, marine survey, docking plan, and marine survey

Civil Engineering

James A. Shiner, P. E., President
Douglas Hearn, P. E.
Shiner, Moseley and Associates
Engineers and Consultants
Corpus Christi, Texas

Directed a team of associates in the analysis, design, and preparation of construction documents for redevelopment of the ship' s mooring and berthing; expertise included civil engineering, mooring system design, dock, harbor and coastal engineering, and soils testing and engineering

 

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57
 
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE
DEPARTMENT STAFF

PROJECT STAFF

Director, Parks Division

Wilson E. Dolman, III, Ph. D.
Oversight and responsibility for all programs of Parks Division including the Battleship Texas restoration; head of preservation planning team when project commenced in September 1983

Restoration Project Managers

Strafford Morss
Directed and coordinated the Battleship Texas restoration project, including preparations for transit to shipyard, review of restoration/construction documents, and project management in shipyard from May 1987 through July 1989; experience included 20 years in the U. S. Navy and Naval Reserves focussing on ship repair and mothballing; consultant and project manager for the stabilization and repair of destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and the battleship Massachusetts

William E. Von Rosenberg, Architect
Directed and coordinated the Battleship Texas restoration project, including last stage of shipyard work, from July 1989 through February 1990; also Chief of TPWD Inspection Branch

Planning Coordinator and Budget Manager

Orion Knox, Architect
Coordinated restoration planning and documentation and managed restoration budget; 22 years of experience with TPWD, including 14 years as head of Historic Sites and Restoration Program; commenced work on Battleship Texas Project in September 1983; continues to be part of interior documentation and restoration project

Civil Engineers

Gary Stobb, P. E.
John Gault, P. E.
Alton R. Franklin, P. E.
Directed and oversaw civil engineering aspects of restoration project, especially the berth and mooring development

Wood Deck Architect and Project Manager

James D. Bigger, Jr.
Drew up wood deck plans and oversaw implementation; more than 15 years experience as restoration architect for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
 

58
 
Director of Interpretation and Exhibits Programs
Zane Morgan
Directed the curatorial and interpretive programs associated with the Battleship Texas restoration and future development; 18 years experience with TPWD in curatorial and interpretive projects; commenced working on Battleship Texas project in September 1983; head of Interpretation and Exhibits Branch

Electrical Restoration Project Manager

Barry Bennett
Directed and oversaw electrical design for ongoing electrical restoration and preparations for transit

Historian and Planner

Sue Winton Moss
Responsible for historical and structural research and documentation and member of planning team; 20 years experience with TWPD in historic site planning; commenced work on Battleship Texas project in September 1983

Shipyard Inspection Team

Richard Frenzel
Charles Davenport
Richard Dugat
Nelson Harder
Jerome Smiley

Shipyard Support Personnel

Robert Fernandez
Cindy LaRue

Shipyard Curatorial and Interpretation Team

Mary Candee
Barry Hutcheson
Michael Miller
David Canright
Brian Fleming
Gloria Mitchell
Margarita Marders
 

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OPERATIONS STAFF
Regional Director 1985-1992
Carolyn Scheffer

Regional Maintenance Supervisor 1987- 1992

John (Doc) Holliday

Park Superintendents, Battleship Texas

Dan Harrison 1983-1990
Frank Dengler 1990-1992

Maintenance Staff 1986-1992

John (Doc) Holliday
James Stanfill
Fernando Fernandez
Douglas P. Fleck
Bernard Gusman
Herbert Lewis
John Nuncio
Joe Olvera
James Peddy
Jeffrey Sanders
Jerome Smiley
John T. Smith

Curatorial Staff 1986-1992

Jerry Moore
Robert Browning
Margarita Marders
Lynn Asher
Brian Fleming
Kenneth Hinton
Paul Martin
Gloria Mitchell
Gary Null
Gregory Pearson
Valerie Sanders

Operational Staff 1986-1992

Eleanora Green
Sulema de los Santos

RESTORATION PROJECT CREW

Vicente Camacho
Gaspar Cararillo
Nathaniel Cloutman
Lonnie Fry
Fabian Garcia
Jerry Green
Hank Harper
Jerry Harrell
Don Kruschick
Milton Nutt
Rafael Olvera
David Pierce
David Pratt
Antonio Rangel
Norman Snipe
George Templin
Wade Veale
Clinton Whatley
Thomas Williams
 

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BATTLESHIP TEXAS FUNDING CHRONOLOGY

September 1983--Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) gained custody of Battleship Texas

June 1984--Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) authorized funds to retain naval architect for repair planning

November 1984--TPWC authorized $158,000 for removal of fluids of selected tanks and emergency repair to those tanks in order for naval architect to complete survey

May 1988--TPWC authorized $687,000 for preparation for transit, including

access channel development: removal of aft bulkhead, channel dredging

preparation for transportation and drydocking: cleaning and gas-freeing selected areas; securing selected areas, including hatches on watertight compartments; protection of artifacts, and treatment of archival material

pre-shipyard restoration: continuing restoration of ship's electrical system, restoration of accessible exterior steel areas

May 1988--TPWC authorized negotiations for purchase of San Jacinto Inn property in order to expand berth

November 1988--TPWC authorized expenditure of $6,936,635 for contract with Todd Shipyard and other items necessary for transit and completion of shipyard restoration project ($5,980,000 was available from donated funds) including

shipyard contract--$5,136,583

shipyard inspection--$1,027,316

transport to yard--$21,000

service pipe blanking--$ 110,000

electrical and lighting service rehab (partial)--$ 152,175

ventilation system rehab (partial)--$105,000

compartment restoration (partial)--$81,861

bulkhead stabilization--$80,000

artifact acquisition, conservation and exhibits--$75,000

temporary berth--$75,000

June 1989--TPWC authorized $5,064,125 for

berth redevelopment--$2,437,000

landscaping including ticket booth, restrooms, observation pier--$320,000

wood deck--$1,500,000

supporting costs, e.g. inspection, testing, contingencies--$607,125

 

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PROJECT DOCUMENTS

Cyril S. Adams. Engineering Report on Present Status and Proposed Improvements for Area Surrounding Battleship "Texas" in San Jacinto State Park, prepared for Battleship "Texas" Commission, November 1945. On file, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Battleship Texas (BB-35) Repair and Restoration Project Number 437-002, September 1988. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Plans and Specifications
Addenda one through three
Bid Schedule
Inspection Reports

Battleship Texas Wood Deck Project 539-082, September 1989. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Battleship Texas Commission. Records. Battleship Texas, La Porte, Texas.

Battleship Texas Restoration Records. Interpretation and Exhibits Branch. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Battleship Texas Records. Battleship Texas, La Porte, Texas.

Cultural Resource Manager's Logs, Battleship Texas Restoration. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Edwin F. Phillips Associates, Inc., Dickinson Texas. U.S.S. Texas Repair and Restoration, July 31, 1985.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. Commission Agenda Items. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Preservation Plan for Battleship Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas. 1985.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Inspection Records. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas. 1988-90.

 

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CONTRIBUTIONS AND DONATIONS

Since the project began, the restoration efforts have been aided by both individual and corporate volunteers.

Through the efforts of the Battleship Texas Advisory Board, more than $5,500,000 was raised for the restoration effort. Contributors included:

U. S. Navy
The Wortham Foundation, Houston
The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston
The Hoblitzelle Foundation, Dallas
The T. L. L. Temple Foundation, Lufkin
Shell Companies Foundation, Inc., Houston
The Moody Foundation, Galveston
North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce
The Herzstein Foundation, Houston
The McGovern Foundation, Houston
The Effie and Wofford Cain Foundation, Dallas
The Howard and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation, Houston
The Taub Foundation, Houston
The Duddleston Foundation, Houston
The George and Mary Josephine Hammond Foundation, Houston

More than $60,000 was donated by the schoolchildren of Texas who pitched in once again to help the "Mighty T." Most school donations were the result of a two-year statewide "Two Bits for the Texas" campaign led by Ms. Cassie Johnson' s Horizons Class at Millsap Elementary School in Cypress. Just as schoolchildren gave money in 1947 and 1948 to bring the ship to San Jacinto, today' s schoolchildren responded to her need for restoration.

The Battleship Texas also benefitted from a two-year aluminum recycling campaign sponsored by

Alcoa Recycling Company
Coca-Cola Bottling Companies of Houston, North Texas, McAllen, Beaumont, El Paso, San Antonio, Lubbock, and Austin
Patrick Media Group of Houston, Inc.
Kwik Wash Laundries, Inc.
Texaco, Inc.
Shiner Brewery
Stroh Brewing Company
and aluminum recycling centers throughout Texas
 

66
 
Shell Oil International, Inc. and seven other firms along the Houston Ship Channel donated services and equipment to pump nearly two million gallons of water and fuel oil from the ship. In December 1987 as a result of their efforts, Texas floated free and began rising with the tide. Participants included:
Briggs Weaver, La Porte
Coastal Hydro Consultation Services, Houston
Garner Services, Inc., Houston
Grace Equipment, La Porte
Hollywood Barge & Towing, Houston
Industrial Air Tool, Pasadena
Ray-Wright Pumps, Inc., Houston

The following community-minded citizens and corporations have helped in repair work, maintenance, and interpretation, providing all manner of support, equipment, and services:

First Texas Volunteers
Seacoast Electric Company, Houston
Port of Houston Authority
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston
Rollins Environmental Services of Texas, Inc., Deer Park
Joe D. Hughes, Inc., Houston
EXXON Chemical Plant, Baytown
Amerigas, Industrial Gases Division, Houston
Olshan Demolishing Company, Houston
Brown & Root, Inc., Houston
Houston Pilots Association
An-Tech Laboratories, Inc., Houston
Custom Technical Services, Houston
Airdex Corporation, Houston
Waste Processors Industries, Channelview
H + W Distributing, Houston
BFI--Bay Area District, La Porte
BFI Landfill District, Houston
Naval Weapons Supply Center, Crane, Indiana
Naval Sea systems Command, Washington, D. C.
Dunn Equipment, Inc., La Porte
Boh Brothers, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana
Bealine Transportation, Pasadena
Corsan Trucking, La Porte
 

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USS TEXAS GENERAL DATA

Construction
Keel Laid: April 17, 1911
Hull Launched: May 18, 1912
Commissioned: March 12, 1914
Reconstruction and conversion from coal to oil burning: 1925-1927
Displacement
Normal Load: 27,000 tons (1914)
Full Load: 34,000 tons (1927)
Dimensions
Overall Length: 573 ft. 0.75 in
Waterline Length: 565 ft. 7.25 in
Maximum Beam: 95 ft. 2.625 in (1914)
106 ft 0.75 in (1945)
Engines
two vertical inverted, direct-acting, 4-cylinder triple expansion steam engines
(designated Mechanical Engineering Landmarks)

Maximum Speed
21 knots, reduced to approximately 20 knots after conversion
28,100 max. ahead shaft horsepower

Boilers
1914: fourteen Babcok & Wilcox, 65,480 sq.ft. total heating surface (coal-fired)
after conversion: six Bureau Express-type, 285psi / 417°F operating temperature

Armament

Guns Mounts 1914 Dec. 1944
14"/Mk 3 Twin Mk 12 10 10
5"/51 Mk 13 Single Mk 13 21 6
3"/50 Mk 21 Single Mk 22   10
40mm Mk Quad Mk 2   10
20mm Mk 10 Single Mk 4   44
21" TT Mk 3 Single subm'd 4  

Armor
Maximum thickness: 14 inches (face plates of main battery turrets)
Average thickness around central portion of hull ranges from 10 inches to 12 inches

Complement 1914 1945
Officers 58 98
Marine Officers   2
Enlisted 944 1625
Marine Enlisted   82
Total 1052 1810
 

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69
 
USS TEXAS CAMPAIGN RECORD
1914 - 1945

Mexican Service Medal
May 26 - August 8, 1914
October 9 - November 4, 1914

World War I Victory Medal
Grand Fleet Clasp
February 11 - November 11, 1918
Armed Guard Clasp
August 20 - November 11, 1918

American Defense Service Medal
July 17 -25, 1941
October 13 - November 26, 1941

North African Occupation
Algeria-Morocco landings
November 8 - 11, 1943

Invasion of Normandy
June 6 - 25, 1944

Invasion of Southern France
August 15 - September 28, 1944

Iwo Jima Operation
Assault and Occupation of Iwo Jima
February 16 - March 7, 1945

Okinawa Gunto Operation
Assault and Occupation of Okinawa Gunto
March 25 - May 14, 1945

Navy Occupation Service Medal (Asia)
September 2 - 23, 1945

 

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USS TEXAS
COMMANDING OFFICERS
1914 - 1948

Albert W. Grant, Captain USN March 12, 1914 - June 10, 1915
John Hood, Captain USN June 10, 1915 - August 14, 1916
Victor Blue, Captain USN August 14, 1916 - December 31, 1918
Nathan C. Twining, Captain USN December 31, 1918 - July 17, 1919
Frank H. Schofield, Captain USN July 17, 1919 - June 17, 1921
Edward S. Kellog, Captain USN July 17, 1921 - July 6, 1922
Andre M. Proctor, Captain USN July 6, 1922 - May 22, 1924
Ivan C. Wettengel, Captain USN May 22, 1924 - September 28, 1925
Charles A. Blakely, Captain USN September 28, 1925 - June 2, 1926
Zeno E. Briggs Captain USN June 2, 1926 - January 4, 1928
Joseph R. Defrees, Captain USN January 4, 1928 - July 9, 1929
Adolphus Andrews, Captain USN July 9, 1929 - May 13, 1931
Julius C. Townsend, Captain USN May 13, 1931 - June 17, 1933
Lamar R. Leahy, Captain USN June 17, 1933 - April 15, 1935
Sherwoode A. Taffinder, Captain USN April 15, 1935 - November 21, 1936
Fred Fremont Rogers, Captain USN Noverber 21, 1936 - June 1, 1938
Robert R. M. Emmet, Captain USN June 1, 1938 - May 31, 1940
Clarence N. Hinkamp, Captain USN May 31, 1940 - August 2, 1941
Lewis W. Comstock, Captain USN August 2, 1941 - September 28, 1942
William E. Hennigar, Commander, USN September 28, 1942 - October 3, 1942
Lawrence Wild, Captain USN October 3, 1942 - October 14, 1942
William E. Hennigar, Commander USN October 14, 1942 - October 17, 1942
Roy Pfaff, Captain USN October 17, 1942 - March 10, 1944
Charles A. Baker, Captain USN March 10, 1944 - August 17, 1945
Gerald L. Schetky, Captain USN August 17, 1945 - July 3, 1946
Robert N. Downes, Commander USN July 3, 1946 - March 6, 1947
James R. Bagshaw, Jr., Captain USN March 6, 1947 - April 7, 1947
R Samuel J. McKee, Commander USN April 7, 1947 - July 31, 1947
Jack Seward, Lt. Commander USN July 31, 1947 - April 21, 1948
Charles A. Baker, Captain USN April 21, 1948 - April 21, 1948
 

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