Historical Battleship Texas battles to stay afloat

Kadyn Chatman, reporter

The battle ship museum in La Porte, which is the last remaining Dreadnought ship in the world, is slowly starting to sink due to the most recent flooding.

In 1914 the ship was first commissioned and began its first mission in Mexico, following the Tampico incident. After the Tampico incident, the ship was taken into battle during World War I and II. The ship then decommissioned in 1948 after earning five battle stars for the service that it completed during World War II.

On April 17, 1947, the battleship was established by the Texas Legislature to be taken care of and towed from Baltimore to San Jacinto. The ship arrived on April 20, which was the day before the War for Texas’s Independence was celebrated. When the ship arrived, it was turned over to the state of Texas and the ship became the first permeant ship museum.

For over a decade, the ship has been experiencing erosion and deterioration which lead to the decision of moving it out of the water to save it, however, the cost of moving the ship is more than $40 million. If the Dreadnought is left there it will cost $30 million to scrap it. A battleship Texas foundation was created by the museum to raise money to move the ship out of the water, but the money that was being used to move the ship had to be redirected to the flooding that the ship encountered. The ship is so old that it is starting to decay and as this occurs more damage is being inflicted on the Dreadnought.

The last time the ship had a big flooding incident on was June 10, which lead to the closing of the ship for a week. Flooding in the tanks located outside the ship caused it to start sinking. To stop the ship from sinking, contractors tilted it and patched 25 leaks. The total patching project cost more than a million dollars. Everyday more than 25 pumps remove water from the ship to prevent corrosive damage that can be caused by leaks that have not be checked. Overall the average amount of daily leaks is a total of 300 tons water.

Even though the museum has invested millions of dollars to protect the ship from sinking, the Dreadnought is still continuing to sink and if the ship is not moved soon it will cause contamination in the Houston ship channel, which is one of the US’s important seaports because it is the conduit for ships traveling between Houston- area terminals and the Gulf of Mexico. But if the ship does continue to sink and does not contaminate the water, it will cause environmental issues when it is being disposed.

The battleship is currently on an 18 month rebuild that first started in 2015, but will now be officially repaired in late 2018. This will help with moving the ship out of the water without causing any further damage. After the repairs are finished it will cost even more money to move it out of the water.

A gaming company called the World of Warships, which is a naval theme game that features many warships that includes the Texas battle ship donated money to a support group called V.A.L.O.R. This project supports veteran families, home remembrance and giving thanks.  World of Warships gave over $280k that they had collected when they sold a special Lone Star Texas bundle game. Hoping to help dry dock the ship. To continue raising money, the gaming company says that they will donate $25 to the fundraiser for every gamer that is referred to the website by an existing player or creates a new account through the Texas war ship website and plays one non-premium Tier 6 ship.

The one remaining issue that has not been resolved is where the ship will be once it is moved out of the water. The Galveston city council wants the ship to be moved to Galveston onto to a dry port. Groups involved with the battleship believe that the ship should stay in La Port where it has been for the last 60 years. Council members were supposed to take a vote on where it should be moved however, the vote was delayed to show that the city was not taking sides in the dispute. As of now, the moving of the ship has not been decided, so until a vote is made the legendary battleship will stay in LA Porte, TX.