USS Texas – Battle of Normandy

USS Texas

Index of Allied warships during Operation Neptune

History, technical sheet and photo

Image : USS Texas

USS Texas history

USS Texas was launched on 18 May 1912 and entered service on 12 March 1914. Initially engaged in the Gulf of Mexico, it then escorted convoys to the Atlantic when the United States officially entered the First World War World. During the interwar period, it trained in anti-aircraft struggle for the benefit of several squadrons, both in the Atlantic and in the Pacific: in 1926, it was in particular named US flagship Navy.

Beginning in 1937, Texas became the flagship of the training squadron before becoming, in 1939, the flagship of the Atlantic squadron. With the beginnings of the Second World War, this maritime space became a particularly important strategic issue. It escorted many convoys and then took part in its first amphibious operation off Tunisia as part of Operation Torch in November 1942. In 1943, it resumed its escort missions and on April 22, 1944, the USS Texas reached the estuary of Clyde in Scotland where it remains awaiting Operation Overlord.

During Operation Neptune, USS Texas is designated as the flagship of the bombing force at Omaha Beach. On June 6, 1944 at 3 o’clock in the morning, it reached its position 11 kilometers off Pointe du Hoc. The bombardment begins at 5:50 am: 255 360-mm shells are fired for 34 minutes at the positions of the German battery. At the same time, the 127 mm pieces opened fire on the Dog one exit in Vierville-sur-Mer. The German resistance is such that Texas is obliged to approach 2.7 kilometers from the shore only to silence the German defenses on the western outskirts of Vierville.

The day after D-Day, it sent two LCVPs filled with ammunition to the Rangers, isolated at the top of Pointe du Hoc. 35 wounded are evacuated aboard the boats (as well as prisoners) and a Ranger dies as a result of its injuries aboard Texas. During the day it opened fire on German positions at Formigny and Trévières. On June 8, it shot in the direction of Isigny, Maisy’s battery and again on Trevières.

After a refueling in England, the USS Texas returns off Normandy on June 11, supporting with its fires the progression of the American land forces until June 16. On the 25th, in Task Group 129.2, it bombed the German batteries defending access to the port of Cherbourg, in particular the battery Hamburg: at 12.33 pm, it was taken under German fire and hit at 13.16. A sailor is killed, ten are wounded, the material damage is light. At 1447, a shell penetrates the building but does not explode. It leaves the area at 3 pm.

In August, Texas participated in Operation Dragoon in the landing of Provence and then returned to the United States in September. In 1945, it is deployed in the Pacific and participates in the naval fire support on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

After the end of the war, the USS Texas returned one last time to the United States after many years of good and loyal services. It was officially removed from service on 18 June 1946 in Baltimore. The State of Texas decides to keep it and turns it into a floating museum after many years of work on September 8, 1990, at the San Jacinto site in Harris County near Houston… in Texas of course.

USS Texas technical sheet

Creator/User: United States of America
Denomination: BB 35 – U.S.S. Texas
Class: New York class battleship

Crew: 1,052 sailors

Armament (1944): 10x 380 mm guns, 16x 127 mm guns, 8x 76 mm guns, 40x 40 mm guns, 44x 20 mm guns, 4x 533 mm torpedo tubes

Displacement: 32,000 tons
Speed: 21 knots
Length: 175 m
Beam: 29,03 m
Draught: 8,92 m