¡Que Onda Magazine!

Houston's oldest bilingual publication

Historic Milestone: Battleship Texas Set to Float Again by Early March

In an eagerly awaited development, the beloved floating museum, Battleship Texas, is on track to return to the water next month, promising a blend of historical restoration and modern upgrades.

The latest update from the Battleship Texas Foundation, posted earlier this week, highlighted significant progress in the restoration efforts. The focus has been on reinstalling mounts and hardware for two of the ship’s deck guns, with one already completed and the other scheduled for reinstallation. Additionally, maintenance tasks such as paint touch-ups and part refitting are underway.

The guns, classified as 5”/51 type, boast formidable specifications, firing five-inch diameter projectiles with a barrel length of over 21 feet. Originating in 1911, these guns played pivotal roles in naval battles, notably during World War II, such as the engagement at Wake Island in 1943.

Interestingly, historical records reveal initial skepticism from the ship’s captain about the effectiveness of these guns in 1919. However, by 1941, the vessel was armed with sixteen of these powerful weapons.

Despite the anticipation, the foundation clarified that visitors shouldn’t expect any live demonstrations: “no, we will not make the gun go bang.”

While the restoration progresses, the foundation aims for the ship’s return to water by early March, marking a significant milestone in the $60 million multi-year restoration project. Efforts include ensuring the vessel’s structural integrity and applying specialized coatings to combat corrosion.

However, despite the excitement of its impending return to water, the Battleship Texas won’t be setting sail independently anytime soon. The foundation clarified that the ship will remain stationary, with plans to settle it into a new berth near Galveston’s Pier 21 pushed to the latter half of 2025 or even 2026.

For enthusiasts eager to witness the ongoing restoration firsthand, limited spots are available for the upcoming dry-dock tour, offering a unique opportunity to explore the historic vessel before its relocation. Tickets are priced at $200 and can be purchased through the foundation’s website.