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Texas III (CGN-39)


Texas (CGN-39) in Chesapeake Bay, 7 July 1977. National Archives photograph, USN 1170392.

After having been a territory first of Spain and then of Mexico and later an independent republic, Texas was admitted to the Union as the 28th state on 29 December 1845.

CSS Texas, a twin-screw, ironclad ram built at Richmond, Va., for the Confederacy, was launched in January 1865. At the time of Lee's evacuation of Richmond on 3 April 1865, she was left unfinished but intact in an outfitting berth at the Richmond Navy Yard, one of only two vessels which escaped destruction by the departing Confederate forces. Captured when the city fell the following day, the ironclad, sister ship of CSS Columbia, was taken into the United States Navy, but saw no service. Texas was laid up at Norfolk until 15 October 1867 when she was sold at Norfolk to J. N. Leonard.


(CGN-39: dp. 11,000 (f.); 1. 585'; b. 63'; dr. 31'; s. 30+ k.; cpl. 476; a. 2 5", 2 Phalanx, ASROC, Harpoon, Standard, 6 Mk.32 tt.; cl. Virginia)

The third Texas (DLGN-39) was laid down as a guided missile frigate on 18 August 1973, at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; reclassifled as a guided missile cruiser and redesignated CGN-39 on 30 June 1975; launched on 9 August 1975; sponsored by Mrs. Dolph Briscoe, wife of the Governor of Texas; and commissioned on 10 September 1977, Capt. Peter B. Fiedler in command.

Following a nine-week test of the ship's combat systems, Texas loaded out weapons at the Yorktown Naval Weapons station in October and underwent refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in November. Texas spent the first three months of 1978 conducting at-sea evaluation of her propulsion and weapons systems off the Virginia capes and in the Caribbean. On 28 March, she transited to her building yard at Newport News to commence a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) which was completed on 31 July. The remainder of 1978 was spent in individual ship exercises off the east coast and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, interspersed with periods in Texas' home port of Norfolk.

Published: Tue Apr 28 10:46:03 EDT 2020