Battleship Texas Hard Hat Tour - May 5th, 2007


BB-35 has been open for touring since April 21, 1948

Nice naval flags added for today's visit

Over to the starboard stern to board the ship

Today's 830am Red Group is ready to go

Board the vessel in the shadow of the Monument

Head below ship at middle turret #3

Start the tour in the ammo handling room & powder
magazine with powder tanks stacked floor to ceiling

Two 105 pound propellant charges stored in each
alumninum can in the powder magazine

Charges are passed through the flash proof
powder scuttle to the Lower Handling Room

Powder received in the Lower Handling Room
and hand carried to the powder hoist

Strong farm boy loads charges into the powder
hoist to be sent up to turrets

Powder Hoist shaft in which charges are carried
up to the Powder Flat, just below the turret

Projectile Magazine stores 1275 lbs. high capacity
rounds and 1500 lbs. armor piercing rounds

Projectiles are stored nose down and moved by
metal rings temporarily stored in their bases

Projectile picked up with block & tackle and moved
via mounted trolley into Lower Handling Room

Lower Projectile Hoist lifts the shells
up to the Upper Handling Room

Battered thermostat has seen better days

Next stop on the tour, the Forward Dynamo Room

Dynamo Room generates elecric power for the ship

Jerry and Lyle are enjoying the tour

I'm shocked it's so old but you still can't touch it

Climb a deck up to the Power Distribution Room

Watch out for the main switchboard in rough seas

Central Station is a heavily armored compartment that
allows for steering the ship and damage control

Disconnect the mechanical links to the Nav Bridge
& Conning Tower to enable steering here

Inclinometer indicates the degree of ship list
to help form strategies for countering flooding

Draft gauge near the floor precisely measures
distance from the waterline to the ship's keel

Knot Log (speed indicator) helps monitor the ship

Switchboard allows communication with entire ship


Communications are critical for determining both
the nature and extent of damage

Even in 1913, there were cable shafts,
and this one brings forth cool air!

Down to the Boiler Room where extensive
refurbishment has taken place on on side.

This room had 20ft of water in it for 20 or so years

The other boiler in the same room shows the
damage years of salt water can do

View inside the boiler's oil burning firebox
Original coal fired boilers were replaced in 1927

Temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees quickly
turn water to steam inside the tubes

Cooler water flowed through the mud drums into
tubes above, rivets indicate 1920's construction

Crew grew from 800 to 1800 between WWI & WWII
and bunks were stacked anywhere there was room

Main Radio Room sent & received Morse Code

Messages were decoded in the secure Coding Room

Only the latest equipment like this Teletype Printer

And plenty of spare tubes for a quick repair job

Shaft for lowering supplies deep into the ship

The Plotting Room is the brains for the 14" Guns

Range and deflection indicator plus turret ready
lights assist in targeting and gun status

Main Battery Control Switchboard gave control of the
turrets to the range keeper selected to aim them

Sound powered phone system enabled
communication with many other parts of the ship

More switchboards used to control functions to
and from both turrets and spotting stations.

Pass more bunks while climbing up and out
to the main deck to get inside Turret #1

Inside Turret #1's right gun house, four charges
are hand loaded & rammed after the projectile

After firing, the breech is cleared of burning
embers by top left nozzle using compressed air

Looking down the barrel of the 14 inch rifle
which can be readied to fire in 45 seconds

Charges hoisted to the gun pit are hand lifted up
to the loading tray, then duck your head for firing

View of the barrel in the gun house
toward the front of the turret

Pausing to view the San Jacinto Monument after
leaving Turret #1 and climbing the superstructure

The Combat Information Center provided the data for
making decisions and selecting targets while fighting

View of crane below the Combat Information Center

View of other crane with ship channel in background

A german shell from Cherbourg hit the Pilot House,
killed the helmsman, and wounded everyone else

If we are in the Pacific and you see a Spitfire,
let me know!

View over the forward guns from the Pilot House

What is going on in front of the boat?

Command of the regional naval recruitment office . . .

. . . was transferred while spectators watch onboard

You couldn't pick a better place for the ceremony

View of battleship giftshop and Texian campsite

View of the forward big guns of the Texas

David would rather be inside the turret during firing

View of superstructure heading back to the exit

Head inside to the three portside 5 inch guns area

Original 5" guns when commissioned in 1914

Good for shore battery but not anti-aircraft

Pass by the Galley on the way to Turret #3

Aft facing Turret #3 once had the aircraft catapult

Ship's bell dated 1913 aft of Turret #3

Turrets #5 and #4 heading towards the stern

View of the aft big guns from the Texas' stern

View of Turrets #5 and #4 while exiting the ship
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View of the Texas when first back on dry land

Final view of the Texas from the parking lot
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