USS TEXAS in World War I: Sailing with the British Grand Fleet

After the United States entered WWI, TEXAS set sail to join the British Grand Fleet, but was delayed when she ran aground off Block Island, Rhode Island. After a period of repairs, TEXAS finally set sail to join the British in their patrol of the North Atlantic on January 30, 1918. TEXAS spent almost ten months with the Grand Fleet escorting

British ships on mine laying missions, conducting gunnery drills and participating in fleet maneuvers in the North Sea. The various patrols and activities of TEXAS and the Grand Fleet were primarily meant to counter and deter movements of the German High Seas Fleet. Although TEXAS and the Grand Fleet fired at what they thought were submarines, the patrol duty was mostly uneventful.

In between missions, TEXAS’s crew indulged in friendly competition between ships. TEXAS won the inter-fleet Baseball Championship, and showed well in a Smoker (boxing tournament) hosted aboard.

Although TEXAS and the British Grand Fleet kept their skills honed while waiting to engage the German High Seas Fleet, a confrontation never happened. November 11, 1918 saw Armistice in Europe. TEXAS was on hand to rendezvous with the German Fleet when they surrendered on November 21, 1918, and TEXAS helped escort the German ships back to the Firth of Forth. Once the German ships were secured, TEXAS returned to American waters on Christmas Day, 1918. The ship arrived in New York the following day to much praise and celebration.

(Photo: USS Texas off Hampton Roads, Dec. 10, 1916)




  1. Linda Kelley

    3/1/2018 I have been cleaning out my Mother’s house and came across a letter my Grandmother loaned to my sister for school. The letter was sent to my Grandmother from a man aboard the USS Texas. The letter is on The Grand Fleet letterhead and is dated 11/22/1918. He said they “met the enemy and they are ours – fourteen battleships.” He said the Dutchmen “kept their word for once and were nice and gentle and anchored right where we told them. I suppose by now the crews are all on their way back to Germany but their ships are still here.” (at Firth of Forth) Kind of cool!

    1. Texas WWI CentennialTexas WWI Centennial (Post author)

      Linda: Thanks for sharing this personal connection. There is an organization in the UK working on an exhibition on the Surrender of the German High Seas Fleet. One of the organizers would like exhibit a copy of the letter you mentioned here. They would like to connect with you about it. You can read about it on under the heading 1918.

      – TXWWICC editor


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