Updates

23 December 2016:  To the ship's captain section, added an 8 page pdf with a short biography of all 28 officers who commanded Battleship Texas.  Also added a more extensive biography about Hood and Twining.  The biographies are written by and courtesy of James Thomas, Phd; Department of History/Geography, Houston Community College.  He has conducted the most extensive research of these 28 officers and has two books pending publication by Texas A&M Press and US Naval Institute Press.  One is about Captain Baker and the other being all 28 captains.

 

23 February 2016:  Added to the Boiler Room page a 1925 USN drawing for TEXAS and NEW YORK of the boiler room arrangement with oil fired boilers

 

15 February 2016:  Add to "I Wonder" why did NEW YORK use less fuel oil at every speed than TEXAS in 1935.  After the 1925-1926 rebuilds, both had same boilers and engines.

 

13 February 2016:  to the history period of December 1941-October 1942,  added additional ship photos.  Also additional text about the 1941 Christmas, in Newfoundland.

 

23 December 2016:  Added an 8 page pdf with a short biography of all 28 officers who commanded Battleship Texas.  Also added a more extensive biography about captain's Hood and Twining

 

11 February 2016:  Added a 3rd map of Christmas 1941 in Ship Harbor, Newfoundland showing the location of the Conway Cove School attended by the 28 children who came aboard for Christmas.

 

8 February 2016:  Two maps showing ship location in December 1941 at Argentia Naval Operating Base, Newfoundland and more text about the Christmas aboard for 28 local children and their parents

 

7 February 2016:  A new topic "I Wonder"

 

5 February 2016:  Added two maps, invasion of Southern France, August 1944

 

3 February 2016:  Added bio of Captain Grant.

 

2 February 2016:  Added bio of Captain Blue written by James Thomas, Phd; Department of History/Geography, Houston Community College.  Mr Thomas provided the Baker bio prior to uploading the rebuilt site.  He will provide similar short bios for the other Texas captains.  He has two books out for publishing; Captain Baker and the other with all BB35 captains.

 

31 January 2016:  Added 24 June1934 photo of BB35 with USS Constitution.  Below the photo is the 1 March 1933 BB35 newspaper entirely about Constitution

 

30 January 2016:  When Was Measure 12 Paint Scheme Applied

Years ago, I derived March or April-May 1942 based on available US Navy Yard periods, photos in different configurations with measure 12 and photos of the ship prior to being measure 12.  Paint scheme changes from 1925 on were in a US Navy Yard, including the three after measure 12.

 

The aforementioned deduction came into doubt because of a photo on the website of the Imperial War Museum.  So dawn your  Inverness and deerstalker and follow along as we go through the clues.

 

The below photo was taken sometime after October 1941 because the birdbath platform atop foremast for four 50cal machine guns has been removed with the radar antenna for CXAM-1 in its place.  The radar was installed during the August - October 1941 period in the Norfolk Navy Yard (per ship documents I got from the National Archives) and could only be installed after the removal of the birdbath platform.  The photo shows a solid gray which is what the ship had been since 1925 (though two different shades). 

Below is the IWM photo that created the mystery

Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 8058) - Non Commercial License

 

 The website caption is "ON BOARD THE DESTROYER HMS FURY AT HVALFJORD, ICELAND. 11 AND 20 FEBRUARY 1942".

The paint scheme is definitely measure 12 from irregular markings easily visible on turret 1, 2 and the conning tower

No doubt the ship is TEXAS and not NEW YORK for the number "35" is clearly near the bow.

 

TEXAS was in Hvalfjord, Iceland from 25 January to 1 March but after leaving the Norfolk Navy Yard 9 October 1941 and the 15 January 1942 departure for Iceland there was no period in a US Navy Yard where measure 12 could have been applied.  During this 3 months, the ship was in Argentia Naval Operating Base, Newfoundland; Hampton Roads, Va;  Casco Bay, Maine; and Thompkinsville, Ny (10 - 15 January).

 

Could the caption location be wrongThe IWM has a reputation for thoroughness. I could not obtain verification if the location is or is not Hvalfjord, Iceland.  I emailed the Public Affairs Office, US Embassy, Iceland; Iceland Bureau of Tourism, Reykjavik Museum of Photography and Archives but there was not enough detail to make a determination one way or the other.  Also contacted the Iceland weather service if the amount of snow was normal for Hvalfjord in February 1942.    There is no evidence the location is not Hvalfjord, Iceland.

 

Could measure 12 have been applied at other than a US Navy Yard?  Conclusion was no because such BB35 work was done in a navy yard before and after measure 12.  Had a thought maybe wartime necessity required something other than SOP but we are talking about a huge volume of metal to completely cover in a different scheme with the ship floating in the water.  There were three periods from 25 October 1941 to 7 January 1942 where there was sufficient time to paint but the locations (Casco Bay, Me, and Argentia Naval Operating Base, Newfoundland) seemed to far north weather wise for paint work.  The deck log and war diary were searched with no indication of paint work.  No paint entries does not disprove the idea of paint application outside a navy yard.  The war diary contained very little information as compared to the 1944 which has a lot of ship change information.  The deck log generally does not contain information about ship changes. 

 

So where does that leave us?  Started with the time period of February 1942 and worked back to 9 October 1941 with no evidence to conclude that measure 12 was applied after the August - October 1941 period in Norfolk Navy Yard.  This brought me back to re-examine the photo near the top. 

 

The Results: I opened the photo with PSP8.1 and zoomed in but reaching 400% the image was to distorted for any examination.  Opened it with Irfanview and was able to zoom in 700%.  At that magnification there was distortion but I could still see distinct irregular shaped markings on turret 4, turret 5 and their gun barrels that conform to the style of measure 12 in other BB35 photos .  The color of the markings looks like measure 12.  The markings are not the result of distortion because other areas in these same locations without the markings still maintain the same general appearance as at lower magnification.  Conclusion: Painted not later than the 2 August to 9 October period in Norfolk Navy Yard.

 

What is the earliest navy yard period when Measure 12 was applied?  "A Short History of US Naval Camouflage in WII", by C.E. Johnson (cited in Wikipedia) stated "on 19 July (1941) Measure 12 had been prescribed for the entire Atlantic Fleet".  There was only one yard period after 19 July, the 2 August to 9 October time in Norfolk Navy Yard.  Prior to July was a 4 day period ending 1 February.  Conclusion:  Painted not earlier than the 2 August to 9 October period in Norfolk Navy Yard.

 

Measure 12 was applied 2 August to 9 October, in the Norfolk Navy Yard


Started 11 May 1999 by Chuck Moore, FTV (1st Texas Volunteers) a Battleship Texas volunteer group - Donate Your Time And Support The Battleship Texas