70th Anniversary of Battleship Texas
The Battleship Texas played a big role in the events at D-Day and in the operations that came after, saving countless lives and pummeling the Nazis with round after round of artillery fire.
Friday is the 70th anniversary of the events at D-Day, which began just as day broke off the beaches of Normandy, France.
In honor of the anniversary, 33 World War II veterans from Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma will receive the medal of Chevalier in the French Order of the Legion of Honor from the hands of Sujiro Seam, Consul General of France, based here in Houston. The ceremony on the Battleship Texas is to be attended by local politicians and the friends and family of the veterans.
The American flag that flew atop the battleship during the fighting will go on public display Friday for the first time since World War II in an exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science thanks to a crewman who gifted the flag. The USS Texas’ 17-by-9 foot battle flag was raised on its mast June 5, 1944, as 156,000 Allied soldiers prepared to cross the English Channel and face the Germans.
According to Andy Smith, ship manager of the Battleship Texas, docked at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site as a museum ship since 1948, the battleship spent most of June 1944 providing gun support for soldiers at Omaha Beach and nearby Pointe du Hoc. It was an indispensable piece of the Allied invasion.