The fourth U.S. Navy ship named for the independent republic and the 28th state, admitted to the Union on 29 December 1845. Confederate twin-screw, ironclad ram Texas was captured by Union forces on 4 April 1865 at Richmond, Va., but did not see service in the U.S. Navy and was sold on 15 October 1867. The first Texas, therefore, a second class battleship, was renamed San Marcos on 15 February 1911 to allow the name Texas to be assigned to Battleship No. 35, and served (with brief interruptions) from 1895–1911. The second Texas (Battleship No. 35), was reclassified to BB-35 on 17 July 1920, and served from 1914–1948. On 24 April 1948, the Navy turned her over to the state of Texas for preservation as a memorial at San Jacinto State Historical Park — she is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The third Texas, a guided missile frigate (DLGN-39), was reclassified as a guided missile cruiser (CGN-39) on 30 June 1975 before her commissioning, and served from 1977–1993.
(SSN-775: displacement 7,016; length 377'; beam 33'; draft 32'; speed 25 knots; complement 132; armament 12 Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes for UGM-109 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and UGM-84 Harpoon submarine launched anti-ship missiles, and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedoes; class Virginia)
The fourth Texas (SSN-775) was laid down on 12 July 2002 at Newport News, Va., by Northrop Grumman Newport News; launched on 9 April 2005; sponsored by First Lady of the United States Laura W. Bush; and was commissioned on 9 September 2006 at Galveston, Texas, Cmdr. John J. Litherland in command.
Texas completed her first overseas deployment during a voyage to the Western Pacific, from 23 June–23 December 2011. Her cruise became the first overseas deployment for more than a third of the crew, nearly a quarter of whom completed submarine qualifications and earned their coveted Submarine Warfare insignia, better known to submariners as “Dolphins”. Texas visited Guam; Yokosuka, Japan; Busan, South Korea; and Subic Bay, Philippines.
“The crews’ demeanor is that of excitement and pride as we return from our very successful six month deployment to reunite with our families in our beautiful homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,” Cmdr. Robert A. Roncska, the boat’s commanding officer, summarized. “The new and advanced capabilities of Texas were showcased, and she met all milestones and exceeded all expectations while conducting missions vital to national security and numerous exercises with our allied partners. It is simply a surreal experience to be commanding officer of the most technically advanced submarine…The crew performed flawlessly, both underway and in-port. Their abilities as undersea warriors were demonstrated time and again with outstanding results.”
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
6 October 2015