Operation Dragoon - Invasion Of Southern France
15 to 17 August 1944
  Preliminary - 5 July to 11 August 1944  
Returning to Belfast, Northern Ireland, after the battle for Cherbourg, TEXAS prepared for her third invasion and final combat role in Europe/Africa, the invasion of Southern France. While in Belfast she took on stores and fuel. The catapult and airplanes were placed back aboard with the catapult lashed to the deck. Departed Belfast for Oran, Algeria, on 15 July.
Lt Commander Derickson medal for Cherbourg.

He was the gunnery officer and stationed in the fire control booth (in the back section of the Conning Tower). 

He was injured during the battle for Cherbourg when the Conning Tower was struck by the shell that detonated upwards to the Pilot House.
The stay in Oran was brief (23 - 27 July) during which the catapult was installed atop Turret 3. On 27 July, headed for Taranto, Italy.

 In Oran with airplane catapult still on its side on main deck





 
Arriving in Taranto, on 31 July, the next 11 days were in preparation for the invasion. During the preparation, time was allowed for an USO show aboard ship.
In the show was Jack Haley, the Tin Man from the movie "Wizard of Oz".
  The Invasion:  15 to 17 August 1944  
 
  Flagship - Bombardment Force Task Force 85 (Area Delta)  
Gunfire fire supported the 45th Infantry Division. (Area Camel to the right was the 36th Infantry Division, the "T Patch" division from Texas.
Red highlighted ship names are French ships.
  Battleships Light Cruisers Destroyers  
   
TEXAS
NEVADA

Philidelphia
Montcalm
Gerges Leygues
  Ellyson
Rodman
Emmons
Forrest
Fitch
Hambleton
Macomb
Hobson
Fantasque
Le Terrible
Le Marlin
 
On 11 August, BB35 sails from Taranto for Southern France accompanied by many of the same ships from Normandy and Cherbourg.



15th: Arriving at the invasion in the early morning of the 15th, TEXAS entered her fire support area at 0415. At 0440 the BB35 war diary reports the first sounds of the air support bombs exploding. At 0653 she starting shelling her assigned target P-39, a group of 5 220mm coastal defense guns in rock emplacement. Spotting for the firing was provided by airplane but the target was hard to locate due to haze and smoke. At 0815 all bombardment was ceased so the infantry could go ashore. In the 1.25 hours of firing, TEXAS hurled 172 14" shells the Germans.

Unlike the problems at Omaha, the Delta landing was made without enemy opposition. The seven waves all got ashore by the planned completion time of 0910. Over 100 landing craft had placed 33,000 men and 3,300 vehicles ashore in about an hour without losing a single craft or casualty. (Inspection of the beach defenses on D plus one revealed the defenders were dead at their guns from the aerial and naval gunfire or driven away by the intensity). The 45th pushed quickly inland and by 2400 had accomplished the invasion objectives and suffered only 109 casualties

(In Area Alpha, a similar situation occurred and total casualties were 264 at the end of the day. Area Camel though faced some strong opposition)

Later firings are listed in the BB35 War Diary but no type of gun, quantity or time. At 2031, TEXAS left the Fire Support Area for "Delta Night Retirement Area". At 2058 a formations of German planes enters her vicinity and BB35 fired at the planes with 3" and 40mm guns.

16th: TEXAS returns to her fire support area at 0330 but no calls for gunfire support are received. At 1900 she moved to the "Delta Night Retirement Area".

17th: At 0200, TEXAS is ordered to depart for Palermo, Sicily, concluding her part in the invasion and her last combat in Europe/Africa
  Return to America - 18 August to 14 September 1944  
Arriving in Palermo on the 18th, her planes and aviation personnel were brought back aboard. She departed on the 19th, with ARKANSAS for ORAN. ARKANSAS developed engineering problems and the ships diverted to Algiers, Algeria, arriving on the 21st. The NEVADA joined them on the 26th. The three ships departed on the 30th and arrived in Oran on the 31st. The group departed on 4 September with TEXAS going into the New York Navy Yard on the 14th.
The return to America was the 20th crossing of the Atlantic since January 1942 and the last for BB35.

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