The San Jacinto Battleground Association, which wants to move the battleship USS Texas from the San Jacinto Battleground to a more prominent position in Galveston Harbor, is taking the fight to the halls of the Texas Legislature in Austin.
Texas voters approved a $25 million general obligation bond issue in November 2007 to renovate the ship, which escorted troop ships to Europe in World War I and saw action in World War II at the invasions of Normandy and Iwo Jima.
Association president Jan DeVault said the group intends to meet with every state representative and senator to educate them on the need to move the World War I-era battleship. The association wants legislators to approve a search for a more suitable site for the ship when the bonds are issued, DeVault said.
DeVault’s group, one of four officially recognized San Jacinto battleground support groups, said the ship’s current location at the battle site near La Porte is too remote to attract enough visitors to pay for its upkeep. DeVault said moving the ship to Galveston Harbor would draw many more paying customers.
Steven Howell, executive director of the Battleship Texas Foundation, said the group would oppose any relocation. He said it would cost at least $22 million to move the ship, which could damage the historic vessel.