The Battleship Texas Foundation has for a long time made efforts to raise funds to save the Texas BB-35 from drowning. The foundation has also created a lot of awareness on the deplorable nature of the ship as well as made recommendations on what would be a permanent solution.
It would be recalled that the ship which is the last WWI dreadnought that is still alive played a crucial role in both the WWI and WWII before it was decommissioned.
Attempts To Save The Ship From Drowning
Naturalists, Historians, and Naval engineers have been voicing out their concerns on the state of the great Texas BB-35. The ship survived the Germans and the Japanese but it is finding a new kind of battle; the corrosion of its hull – and it is definitely losing the battle.
Now a museum ship, Texas BB-35 has been closed at one time or another for repairs. At other times, engineers try their best to patch up the leaks which are sometimes as wide as 6 to 8 inches.
The Battleship Texas Foundation is suggesting that dry berthing of the ship could be a permanent solution to save the 104-year-old ship from drowning as well as cut down the cost that is frequently expended on its maintenance.
In view of raising fund for the dry berth project which is estimated to cost at least 40 million dollars, the Battleship Texas Foundations have been carrying out fundraising campaigns.
The most recent was the collaboration with Baron Engraving to produce a silver and gold-plated 1911 Colt pistol.
Possible Arrival Of Federal Funding
Bruce Bramlett, the executive director of the Battleship Texas Foundation, a nonprofit, stated that stated that to preserve the ship, preparations need to be made for it to be placed in a dry dock before it is irreparably damaged. He estimates that the project could cost $50 million, an amount that is virtually hard to come by.
However, this would be a better option compared to the $300,000 to $400,000 that is frequently spent on repairs to patch up the leaks.
Thanks to the United States congressman, John Culberson, a native of West University and a major in American history, federal funding could be on the way to save Texas BB-35. Culberson toured the ship in 2014 and ever since has openly expressed his concerns about the calamitous state of the sinking battleship.
He later pushed for the amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act to carve out a grant for the maintenance of the country’s battleships.
The Criteria For Federal Funding For A Battleship
The criteria for a battleship to receive federal funding are stringent; the ship must be listed on the National Register Of Historic Places in the state its name stems from. Also, the battleship must be at least between 75 and 115 years old. Interestingly, at 104-years, the Texas BB-35 passes the criteria.
Another requirement of the amendment is that any contribution that must come from the federal government must be matched by funds raised by the local communities.
Considering the tremendous fundraising drives of different nonprofit organizations within the city, matching any federal donation should not be a herculean task.
How Soon Will The Fund Come?
It is possible that the fund may never come at all. It is not the first time that Culberson will be pushing for the amendment. The first attempt didn’t make it past the conference and there is no guarantee that his second attempt will see the light of day.
Organizations seeking to raise fund for the sinking ship are concerned that if nothing is done, the government would need about $30 million to scrap it.
Also, all the money that money that was spent by the state in the past would have been in vain.