Awarded: December 21, 1971
Laid down: August 18, 1973
CGN 39 - June 30, 1975
Launched: August 9, 1975
Commissioned: September 10, 1977
Decommissioned: July 16, 1993
Fate: disposed of by recycling;
nuclear-powered ship recycling program;
Texas' keel was laid down
on 18 August 1973, at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News
Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. She was initially designated a guided
missile destroyer leader, but was reclassified as a guided missile cruiser
and given the hull classification symbol CGN-39 on 30 June 1975. She was
launched on 9 August 1975, sponsored by Mrs. Dolph Briscoe, wife of the
Governor of Texas, and commissioned on 10 September 1977, with Captain Peter
B. Fiedler in command.
Following a nine-week test of the ship's combat systems, Texas loaded weapons
at the Yorktown Naval Weapons station in October and underwent refresher
training out of Guantánamo 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,
The maiden deployment of the Texas was with the USS Nimitz Battle Group in
the Mediterranean and North Arabian Sea during the Iranian hostage crisis.
She also served as Flagship for Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group One. The
second deployment of the ship 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 to 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 1987. 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
Carl Vinson Battle Group for Westpac 1988 as the Anti-Air Warfare Commander.
This fourth major deployment included port visits to Singapore, Subic Bay,
Hawaii. Thailand, and Kenya. In 1989, the Texas conducted local operations
and a short overhaul at Hunters Point Naval 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 began her sixth deployment, en route to the Arabian
Sea. She served valiantly during Operation Desert Storm as the ship for the
anti-air warfare commander of the Nimitz Battle Group. Additionally, she
served as a mother-ship for minesweeping operations off the coast of Kuwait,
providing valuable logistic support for several minesweepers. She returned to
San Francisco in August of that year. In April 1992, Texas returned to sea
and conducted a second counter-narcotics mission that included visits to
Ecuador and Panama.
Texas was placed in reserve commission on 31 May 1993, then decommissioned
and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 16 July 1993. Texas entered
the nuclear Ship-Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on
1 October 1999.