In spring of 2020, Battleship Texas Foundation staff removed the ship’s ten 3″/50 caliber guns, eight of ten quad 40 mm Bofors mounts, and all eight 20 mm Oerlikon guns with the assistance of Taylor Marine and Certified Pipe Services Houston. The guns were taken to an offsite warehouse provided by NRG, where staff and volunteers have been able to restore these guns on a component level. The equipment and services made available to us by many generous supporters, such as NRG, CPS Houston, Texas Bearing Services, Taylor Marine, and many others have made it possible for this work to be more thorough than ever before. Thanks to them, volunteers together have worked over 860 hours on this project in 2020 alone and have already passed 2,000 hours in 2021. Bravo Zulu to everyone involved!
Currently, the bulk of the work is on the 3″/50 caliber guns. While some maintenance was performed on these guns while they were on the ship, all are to the point that complete disassembly is required. When this project began, all ten 3″ guns’ breeches were seized shut, most of the guns could not rotate or elevate, and many smaller components had deteriorated beyond repair. Volunteers have already had success returning the breech mechanism to working order on four guns. We have also successfully unscrewed the gun carriage from the stand on one gun mount, revealing the 138 ball bearings the gun rotates on. With these bearings replaced, the guns will rotate smoother than ever.
To stay up to date on this project, be sure to check the latest Battleship Update and if you’d like to work on this project, fill out our volunteer application here.