Located at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, the Battleship Texas was commissioned in 1914 as the most powerful weapon of its time. The ship was the first permanent US battleship museum and was the first declared a National Historic Landmark.
As it has been preserved and carefully renovated over many years, visitors can see what it was like for the men who lived and worked on this ship.
Battleship Texas as the last surviving Dreadnaught was the only battleship to have served in both World Wars. Over the course of its operation, it was the first American battleship to use various evolving technologies involving radar, anti-aircraft guns.
In 1917, the ship fired the first American shots in World War I while in defense of a merchant vessel. After the war, the ship received a significant modernization, increasing fired power and switching coal-fired boilers to oil-fired ones. The ship was also the first to show “talking pictures” for crew entertainment.
The Battleship Texas sailed to both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II, and most notably was involved in the D-Day invasion.
After the ship had been deactivated, the Texas legislature authorized funds to move it near the San Jacinto Monument to be used as a permanent museum.
Visitors who take the self-guided tour can get a hands-on feeling of what it was like to work on the ship. Parts of the ship accessible to the public include the Flag Bridge 60 feet above the water, the sleeping quarters and medical facilities, engine rooms and guns.
The Battleship Texas is a great place to take pictures given all the access the public has to various areas of the ship. Be sure to check out the main turret to get a sense of how small and crowded it must have been for personnel loading shells.
Visitors coming to the Battleship Texas should also visit the San Jacinto Battleground Monument and Museum.
Dress for the conditions and wear shoes with good footing. Battleship Texas is best visited when the weather is good as there are only a few areas of the ship that have temperature control.
Battleship Texas is not an ideal attraction for those with mobility issues or young children as the ship is mostly the way it was when operational, with very cramped areas and extremely steep stairs with small footing.
Battleship Texas State Historic Site
3523 Independence Parkway South
LaPorte, Texas 77571