Battleship Texas: Flight Operations Underway, 1919

USS Texas Launches First Ever Aircraft from US Navy Battleship

Warships Collection of Paintings

In this painting USS Texas (BB-35) is portrayed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The year is 1919, and she is to become the first American battleship to launch an airplane. The aircraft is a Sopwith Camel being flown by Lieutenant Commander Edward O. McDonnell.

The painting displays the exact moment when the aircraft launches from USS Texas, where she is anchored just off the coast at the harbor entrance. Over to the left in the back ground is battleship USS Pennsylvania. To the right in the background is an old three funnel cruiser. Standard Navy launches full of uniformed men are dispersed not far from the ship. They are there not just to applaud the intrepid young pilot, but to provide aid in the event of a mishap. Fortunately, all goes as planned and all present are witness to one of the most historic events in naval history.

In a couple of years reconstruction will be initiated on the famous dreadnought. Modifications will include new engines and a superstructure with tripod masts. The addition of anti-torpedo bilges will increase her displacement by approximately 5,000 tons. The bridge design however, which was built in a British yard, will be retained.

This painting was commissioned in 2015 by Texas Lone Star. View additional painting of USS Texas: USS Texas Departing New York Harbor, 1939

The battleship Texas is well-preserved and permanently moored in La Porte, Texas, where she is open to the public for tours:

Battleship Texas State Historic Site

 

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