War Ships Harbored in Texas
The USS Stewart is a WWII era Edsall Class Destroyer Escort & was the first of the class of vessels constructed, launched & commissioned at Brown Shipbuilding Yards in Houston, TX. The Stewart was commissioned into active service on May 31, 1943. The majority of her war duty was spent assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, escorting convoys to Europe & the Caribbean & engaging in hunter/killer activities against enemy submarines.
The USS Cavalla is a Gato class submarine that served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The Cavalla is 306 feet long & has a displacement of 1900 tons when submerged. The Cavalla was capable of carrying 24 torpedoes & had a crew of 80 men. In 1952 she was converted to a submarine killer. Later, she served as a test platform for sonar systems used on our modern nuclear subs. Cavalla is the only remaining ship from the WWII era credited with sinking an aircraft carrier.
Nicknamed "Lady Lex" the USS Lexington was originally designed as a battlecruiser but was converted into an aircraft carrier during construction to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 which terminated all new battleship construction. She entered service in 1928 & spent her entire career with the Pacific Fleet. In early 1942, along with the Yorktown, she successfully attacked Japanese shipping off the east coast of New Guinea. On May 7th, again with the Yorktown, at the Battle of the Coral Sea they sank the light Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho & badly damaged the Shokaku. But Japanese aircraft crippled the Lexington & she had to be scuttled to prevent her capture.
Almost immediately after being commissioned in March of 1914, the New York class Battleship Texas saw action in Mexican waters during the Tampico Incident & made numerous sorties into the North Sea during WWI. During WWII Texas escorted war convoys across the Atlantic & shelled Axis-held beaches for the North African Campaign & the Normandy Landings before being transferred to the Pacific Theater in 1944 to provide gunfire support during the Battles of Iwo Jima & Okinawa. Texas was decommissioned in 1948 after earning 5 battle stars for her service during WWII.
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