Inventory of the Texas Battleship Papers:
11 Apr.-11 June 1948
The second battleship to be named the Texas was christened on 18 May 1912, and was commissioned for service in the U. S. Navy on 12 March 1914. The USS Texas served in the Atlantic Fleet during World War I, and was present at the surrender of the German Imperial Fleet in 1918. In 1927, it was the flagship for the commander in chief of the United States Fleet. In 1940 and 1941, the ship was assigned to escort duty in the North Atlantic, and in 1942 it supported the Allied landings in North Africa. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the USS Texas was the flagship for the bombardment group supporting the Allied landings on Omaha Beach. In 1945, the battleship supported the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. On 21 April 1948, the USS Texas was decommissioned, presented to the state of Texas, and recommissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy, becoming the nation's first memorial battleship and a national historic landmark.
The Battleship Texas Papers (11 Apr.-11 June 1948) consist of miscellaneous mementos, including programs, transcripts of speeches, newspaper clippings, memoranda, correspondence, and photographs collected from the events surrounding the mooring, decommissioning, and recommissioning in the Texas Navy of the Battleship Texas. Also included are photocopies on archival paper of all newspaper clippings and photographs found in the Texas Battleship papers. These copies were made while processing the papers. A few other photocopies of the mementos, memoranda, and correspondence were made previously at an unknown date, and may have been received in the repository as part of the original accession.
Series 1. Preamble, order of events, speeches for decommissioning ceremony (21 April 1948) consists of typescript copies of the preamble, order of events and speeches given during the decommissioning ceremony, held 21 April 1948. The preamble explains the general protocol of the ceremony, marine headings for the ship to follow in order to be moored, platform sizes, special guests, and the secured route for the special guests to follow to the mooring site. The order of events includes the procedure, the program, and program for radio. The procedure gives the times, locations, and music for the ceremony. The program is a general outline of the ceremony, while the program for radio is an exact outline for radio broadcast of the ceremony, with a script for the announcer to follow. The transcripts of speeches include speeches given at the ceremony by Lloyd Gregory, Paul L. Wakefield, Col. G. A. Hill, Jr., Fred Harris, John G. Flowers, Jr., Rear Admiral L. F. Reifsnider, Captain Charles A. Baker, Oscar F. Holcombe, Jesse H. Jones, Mark Edwin Andrews, Beauford H. Jester, and Chester W. Nimitz. Also included in this series is a copy of "An Act" (House Bill no. 623), authorizing the transfer of the USS Texas from the United States government to the state of Texas.
Series 2. Programs and invitations for ceremony (21 April 1948) contain various programs, invitations, and mementos from the ceremony. Included is a printed invitation to the acceptance ceremony and a keepsake entitled The Ships of the Texas Navy, compiled by James M. Daniel. The keepsake was printed and issued by the San Jacinto Museum of History Association on the occasion of the permanent berthing of the U.S.S. Texas at the battleground. Also in the series is an Official Log of the visit of (entries unfilled) to the Battleship Texas, San Jacinto Battlegrounds. The log is a folded broadside including the history of the USS Texas and photographs of the ship, facts about the battleship, and a message from Chester Nimitz. Two admittance cards to the Texas for the ceremony are included, one laminated and issued to G. B. Burkhalter.
Series 3. Correspondence relating to the movement of ship to Texas, berthing, and decommissioning (11 April 1948-11 June 1948) consists of correspondence sent to and from functionaries discussing the movement of the battleship and the decommissioning ceremony. Included are various telegrams clarifying such issues as what flags the battleship should fly. Also in the series are letters of thanks sent after the ceremony. All the correspondence is typed, some being originals and others being carbon copies on onionskin. Some are signed. Senders include G. B. Burkhalter, O. H. Carlisle, V. H. Ludwig, Lloyd Gregory, and Jackie Garner.
Series 4. Various notes and memos (undated) includes 3 memos. All are undated and untitled, with no explanations. Two are in pencil, on lined paper, and the other is in ink on unlined paper. Two of the memos contain names of individuals and organizations and their phone numbers, while the third is a list of men and their ranks, with a few notes on the bottom.
Series 5. Newspaper clippings (17 April 1948-2 May 1948) consists of eleven articles about the mooring, decommissioning ceremony, and general excitement surrounding the moving of the battleship to Texas. Included are clippings from the Houston Post, Houston Press, Houston Chronicle, Houston Chronicle Rotogravure Magazine, and the New York Sunday News.
Series 6. Article on the Texas Navy (15 Apr. 1948) contains a short typed history of the Texas Navy and the various flags flown by the Texas Navy from March 1836-4 Jan. 1839, when the present state flag was adopted. A colored drawing of the Texas state flag is pasted in. Attached to the article is a handwritten note to Lloyd Gregory from " Lou," discussing the use of flags by the Texas Navy.
Series 7. Photographs (undated) includes photographs of the Battleship Texas obviously made during different points in its history, and several photographs of the mooring, including invited dignitaries. The photographs measure from 2 3/4 inches x 4 1/2 inches. to 8 inches x 10 inches. Also present are eleven postcards depicting the USS Texas during the 1920's. Some of the photographs are reproduced in black and white on Kodak paper.
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Processed by Melissa Zajicek in 25 April 2003
Detailed Description of the Papers