Atlantic Operations
7 December 1941 to 31 December 1942

  Overview:  7 December 1941 to 15 November 1944  

  With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, TEXAS was in Casco Bay, Maine and would remain in the Atlantic-Africa - Europe area till November 1944. BB35 did not have the sailing speed or gun range for the expected engagements with the Japanese surface fleet. But the guns were still very powerful and seen as effective for supporting the invasions that would be needed to liberate Africa and Europe. Such use was never envisioned when the ship was commissioned in 1914 but an effective use was still found almost 30 years later. During the war, the ship went through several upgrades to guns and electronics.

The next 3 years and 9 nine months involved 4 combat operations and many convoy escorts involving 20 crossings of the Atlantic. Movements ranged from Iceland in the north and south to almost the equator off the West Africa coast, west to Panama and eastward to Italy. The ship traveled about 100,000 miles when redeployed to the Pacific, in November 1944.

TEXAS was the only US battleship to be in combat in Africa and Europe.
 

  Configuration 7 December 1941  

  Paint Scheme:  1st of 5, WWII  

Measure 21

(Under extreeme magnification the measure 12 markings are visible on turret 4, turret 5 and their gun barrels).

Applied: August - October 1941, Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia
Next scheme: Measure 22:  23 February to 8 March 1943

  Guns  
  . Total Superstructure 2nd Deck Main Deck Fore Mast Main Mast Sig Bridge
  5inch 14  0 8 6 . . .
  3inch 10 8   2 . . .
  50cal 4 .     0 4 .
  1.1inch 16 8     . . 8
  Airplanes  

Three OS2Us aboard till at least January 1943. By 1944 the number was reduced to two.


  Radar - CXAM-1 (1st of 4)  

CXAM-1 installed August - October 1941 being the first of four operational radars aboard.

BB35 was one of only 20 US Navy ships have such radar as of the Pearl Harbor attack.


  Christmas 1941:  Ship Harbor, Newfoundland  
BB35 operated out of Ship Harbor, Argentia Naval Operating Base from 15 October - 25 November 1941 and 14 December 1941 to 7 January 1942.  Ship Harbor, August 1941 is where President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill met for the first time as respective head of state.  Their discussions lead the 14 August "Atlantic Charter", the first broad statement of common US and British war aims.  23 October 1941, BB35 deck log records the destroyer Reuben James "standing out" from Ship Harbor and was sunk 8 days later (31 October 1941) by a Nazi submarine.

Christmas was celebrated aboard ship with TEXAS hosting Christmas festivities for 28 local Newfoundland children who attended the near by Conway Cove School. The visit was arranged by ship's Chaplain Edel. While aboard, there was a Santa Claus and dinner. Before leaving each child received a gift.  BB35 was anchored off shore so the guests were brought aboard by ships boats.  The school location is shown in the map below-right with the red arrow.  The map segment is from a 1954 map produced by the Canadian Department of Mines and Technical Surveys.  The map and location marking is courtesy of John Griffin, St. Johns Public Library, Newfoundland.  The school building still exists as of February 2016 as a community hall.

Having the children was special for the crew.  Leading Petty Officer Mike Voloepski said "This looks like a real Christmas to me:  Plenty of Christmas trees, plenty of snow, and a chance to make some children happy.  An old sea-faring man like myself has seen many a Christmas away from home, but never a Christmas that wasn't a happy one, so long as there was some children around to hear the reindeers and the jingle-bells". (Mike is the sailor dressed in the Santa Claus outfit in the photos of this event).

Some of the local children







  Cover of the Christmas program
 

  Operations - 1942  
  15 January to 11 March - Iceland a possible breakout into the North Atlantic by the German battleship Tirpitz.

4 April to 24 April - Panama: escort elements of the 1st Marine Infantry Division bound for Guadalcanal. The cadre of the division was organized aboard TEXAS, in February 1941

28 May to 21 June - West Coast of Africa, the convoy was meet about 400 nautical miles west/north-west of Freetown.

1 July to 27 July - Scotland: Docked at Greenock, at the entrance to the Clyde Estuary. The last arrival would be April 1944.

23 October to 29 November - North Africa: Invasion of Morocco, first BB35 combat of World War II.
 

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

  Changes: March or April - May 1942  

Returning from deployment to Iceland in March, the ship went into Norfolk Navy Yard and again April - May.

Do not know which period the gun changes below were made


   Guns  
  . Total Superstructure 2nd Deck Main Deck Main Mast Sig Bridge Flag
Bridge
  5inch 6 0 8 to 0 6      
3inch 10 8 2
  20mm 14     4 6   4
  50cal 0       4 to 0    
  1.1inch 16 8       8  
  Flag Bridge   Mainmast  
      Level 1

  Level 2
 
   
Superstructure

Signal Bridge


2nd Deck
- last eight 5inch guns removed

Main Deck

   
After the removal of the 5inch guns from second deck and before preparation for the invasion of North Africa

  Preparation for Invasion of North Africa:  29 July to 11 August 1942  

Returning from convoy escort to Scotland, TEXAS entered Norfolk Navy Yard on 29 July in preparation for the invasion of North Africa, November 1942.


  Radar: 2nd of 4  

Removed: CXAM-1

Installed: SC-1 with the antenna placed atop the foremast

(Removed February 1944, Boston Navy Yard.)


  Guns  
. Total Superstructure Main Deck Main Mast Sig Bridge Flag
Bridge
Crane
5inch 6 0 6        
3inch 10 8 2        
20mm 14 to 38 2 4 to 24 6   4 2
1.1inch 16 to 32 8 16   8    
  Flag Bridge    Mainmast    Crane   
      Level 1
  Level 2
   
   
Superstructure

Signal Bridge

Main Deck

 

  Altered - Paint Scheme Measure 12  

 Still measure 12 but the markings are different from the previous profile photo

.

As of 11 August 1942 - The ship remained in Norfolk Navy Base until sailing for North Africa on 23 October 1942


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