History of the Cruiser, USS Texas CGN-39

Launching of the USS Texas

9 August 1975

cgn39-launch.jpg (88067 bytes)

click for larger image

The TEXAS was laid down as a guided missile frigate on 18 August 1973, at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; reclassified as a guided missile cruiser and redesigned CGN 39 on 30 June 1975; launched on 9 August 1975, sponsored by Mrs. Dolph Briscoe, wife of the Governor of Texas; and commissioned on 10 September 1977, Capt. Peter B. Fiedler in command.

Following a nine-week test of the ship's combat systems, TEXAS loaded out weapons at the Yorktown Naval Weapons station in October and underwent refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in November. TEXAS spent the first three months of 1978 conducting at-sea evaluation of her propulsion and weapons systems off the Virginia capes and in the Caribbean. On 28 March, she transited to her building yard at Newport News to commence a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) which was completed on 31 July. The remainder of 1978 was spent in individual ship exercises off the east coast and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, interspersed with periods in TEXAS' home port of Norfolk.

USS TEXAS' maiden deployment was with the USS NIMITZ Battle Group in the Mediterranean Sea and North Arabian Sea during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. She also served as Flagship for Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group ONE. TEXAS' second deployment was once again with the NIMITZ Battle Group operating in the Mediterranean Sea. During this period, TEXAS saw combat for the first time, as she responded to Libyan aggression in the Gulf of Sidra.

TEXAS' third deployment was with the USS CARL VINSON Battle Group, and included an around the world cruise which allowed her to visit every inhabited continent except South America and sail all the oceans except the Arctic. The world cruise also included a change of homeport to San Diego, California, from Norfolk, Virginia. TEXAS spent the first part of the following year operating in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea before returning to San Diego. She then began to make preparations for a homeport change to Bremerton, Washington, for a Complex Overhaul. She entered dry-dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in September, and remained there until April 1986. The overhaul lasted until April 1987, and included the installation of the Tomahawk missile system. 

Following a homeport change to Alameda, California, TEXAS deployed with the USS CARL VINSON Battle Group for Westpac 1988 as the Anti Air Warfare Commander. This fourth major deployment included port visits to Japan, Subic Bay, Oman, and Kenya.  In 1989, the TEXAS conducted local operations and a short overhaul at Hunter's Point Shipyard in San Francisco. By the end of the year, she was back at sea on counter-narcotics operations off the Coast of South America.

In February 1991, TEXAS commenced her sixth deployment, en-route to the Arabian Sea. She served valiantly during Desert Storm as the Anti air Warfare Commander for the NIMITZ Battle Group, and she returned to San Francisco in August. In April 1992, TEXAS returned to sea and conducted a second counter-narcotics mission that included visits to Ecuador and Panama. 

In July, TEXAS changed homeport to Bremerton, Washington in preparation for a Refueling Complex Overhaul. She entered the dry-dock in September and commenced work. The overhaul was canceled on April 1, 1993, and work began to decommission the TEXAS.