Corps of Cadets

Texas A&M Galveston Cadets Assist with Maintenance of the Battleship Texas


By Bob Wright, Texas A&M Galveston Marketing and Communications

More than 60 cadets of the Corps of Cadets, the Navy ROTC and the Strategic Sealift Midshipman Program from Texas A&M University at Galveston arrived at the Battleship Texas State Historic Site recently to partner with personnel from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston to perform maintenance on board the USS Texas and the ship’s immediate surroundings.

The cadets were assigned to a variety of teams all charged with duties including digging out drainage ditches, wiping down bulkheads, cleaning hatch covers, moving 5 inch shells, moving and washing 3 inch ammo cans, sanding and finishing benches and taking in the mooring line.

“This was a great way to partner with the cadets while assisting in restoration efforts of a piece of naval history,” said Joseph Morales, aviation maintenance technician 1st class, U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston.  Morales was the coordinator the partnership with the Texas A&M Galveston Corps of Cadets.  “Thanks to all involved in helping to preserve this important piece of Texas history,” continued Morales.

The USS Texas was launched on May 18, 1912.   It was the second ship name for the state.  The ship saw action in 1914 off the coast of Mexico evacuating U.S. nationals from both the gulf and the west coasts of Mexico during the Tampico Incident.  In World War I, the ship saw action in the North Sea and during World War II she escorted convoys in the Atlantic.  The USS Texas shelled beaches in North Africa and during the D-Day landings at Normandy.  In 1944, the USS Texas was sent to the Pacific and fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  The ship is the only remaining World War I era dreadnought and is only one of seven remaining capital ships to have served in both World Wars.

“It is not very often that our cadets get to board a vessel that served in World War I and World War II,” said Commander Buzz Refugio ’94, commandant of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M Galveston.  “I love the fact that the cadets took time in between tasks to truly appreciate the majesty and history of the USS Texas.”