West Coast:  February 1931 - June 1937

(East Coast 23 April to 24 October 1934)


Flagship US Navy - 1 September 1927 to 15 September 1931

TEXAS continued as the Flag Ship of the US Navy, as shown in the photo below, until 15 Sep 1931, at which time PENNSYLVANIA became the US Navy Flagship. BB35 was then designated as the flagship for Battleship Division One until June 1937, when the ship was reassigned to the Atlantic and the Training Division.


  Operations  
During this period San Pedro (port of Los Angeles) was her base of operations. The the islands off the coast of Southern California, were a frequent area of operations. Several major exercises were conducted in the Hawaiian Islands in 1926 and 1937. There was a short period redeployment to the east coast from 23 April to October 1934.

In Washington, the Puget Sound area was also a frequent port call area.  Bremerton Navy Yard is where TEXAS went for maintenance. In 1931, an August issue the ship's newspapers reports the under water hull was painted with all manual labor of 450 sailors using
** 170 scrappers
** 170 scrubbers
** 240 wire brushes
** 160 pots for paint, anti-corrosive
** 160 pots for paint, anti-fouling
** 150 brushes for painting
** 24 pots for black paint for waterline
**A number of hoses washing the bottom of the hull and washing out the dry dock
**10 floats for scrapping and scrubbing side

Total cost
** $88.13 labor
** $766 material
** $852.12 total

Despite the worsening of the Great Depression, TEXAS kept up an active operation schedule distances.

TEXAS departure in June 1937 would be the last time in the Pacific until November 1944. The 1937 canal crossing was the 14th of 16 such crossings.

  Wins Annual Battleship Gunnery  

When it came to 14inch gunnery, TEXAS was still holding her own against newer gunned US battleships. On 9 October 1931, three TEXAS turrets earned an "E" by out-shooting those of the  other 14 US battleships during annual gunnery competition. That evening a broom was run up the main mast to symbolize a sweep of the seas. The flying of the broom dates back to the Dutch navy, of the mid 1600s, signifying they had swept the enemy from the seas. The "E" turret information is from an 11 October 1931 issue of the "TEXAS Steer", the ships weekly newspaper.


  Maggie the Mascot in the Brig  
  During this period, TEXAS acquired mascot Maggie, a little white dog from the Los Angeles city animal shelter. The dog became pregnant and when birthing time came near she took up residence in a cell, in the Brig. Two crewmembers confined to the brig were allowed out of their cells for the purpose of taking care of Maggie. The Maggie story was printed in the 12 Dec 1931 issue of the "TEXAS Steer", the ship's weekly newspaper. The story about Maggie had more words then any other story in the paper.

Extracted by Tom Scott from 45 minutes of footage filmed aboard BB35 in December 1931.
 

  Exterior Changes  

Before April 1935 

"Before" date based on the absence of the "birdbath" platforms atop both masts, which were installed during the 1935 April to August period in the Bremerton Navy Yard.  The date is after September 1931 based on the two-star flag atop the foremast, designating TEXAS as flagship of Battleship Division One.

After April-August 1935 Bremerton Navy Yard

 

Paint scheme change from light grey to measure 13 haze gray.  The next scheme change is March-May 1942. 

50cal machine guns Eight installed in the "bird bath" platforms


  Airplane Aboard - 5 thru 8 of 10 types  

The time periods for the airplanes are when they were assigned and reassigned using data by William T Larkins.

*** "Battleship & Cruiser Aircraft of the US Navy, 1910 to 1941"; Schiffer Military History, 1996.
*** His research into the history of many of the individual airplanes that were aboard TEXAS

    #5

O2U-1


by Vought 
  6 November 1931 to 4 August 1932. Previously assigned 28 June 1928 to June 1930.

Photo from the collection of TEXAS veteran Hans Kittle, 1931 - 1934. 
  #6

O2U-3


by Vought
June 1930 to June 1931 "United States Fleet" is on the fuselage - designation for the Navy CinC.
October 1932 to June 1933 ??  "Fleet Aircraft Assignment" lists Battleship Division One having two types of airplanes (O2U-3 and O3U-1) but does not identify which type was assigned to which ship. 

The photo from the collection of TEXAS veteran Chester Moss, 1931 - 1934
    #7

O3U-1


by Vought 
  June 1931 to October 1932
October 1932 to June 1933 ??? - see O2U-3 above
June 1933 to August 1933
18 December 1934 to June 1936  
    #8

O3U-3


by Vought 
  On the fuselage, the number aft of the stripe denotes the battleship division and the forward number is the aircraft's division identification number, meaning this airplane is #1 in Battleship Division One. The airplanes were removed in the summer or 1937 when TEXAS was assigned to the Training Squadron. 

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