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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Texas City in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Texas City Disaster

 
 
The Texas City Disaster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, February 9, 2012
1. The Texas City Disaster Marker
Inscription. On April 16, 1947, three ships--the "Grandcamp", the "High Flyer", and the "Wilson B. Keene"--were docked in the Texas City port. They were loaded with cargo, including ammonium nitrate fertilizer, bound for Europe to assist in the Post-World War II recovery effort. At 8:33 a. m. the Texas City fire department responded to a call for assistance with a fire on the "Grandcamp". As smoke billowed from the ship, spectators gathered to watch. The "Grandcamp" exploded at 9:12 a. m. with a tremendous force that was felt for miles around. A second explosion came at 1:10 a. m. on April 17, when the "High Flyer's" cargo caught fire, destroying the "Wilson B. Keene" as well.

More than 550 people, including 27 firemen, were killed; flying pieces of concrete, steel, and glass injured thousands more; resulting fires took days to extinguish. Response to the disaster came immediately, with the American Red Cross coordinating relief efforts.

Far-reaching effects of the Texas City disaster included the implementation of safety standards and revised emergency medical treatment procedures. Citizens determined to rebuild. By 1950 few physical reminders of the disaster remained, although the event retains a prominent place in state and national history.
 
Erected 1990 by Texas Historical Commission
The Texas City Disaster marker (far right) image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans
2. The Texas City Disaster marker (far right)
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Location. 29° 22.534′ N, 94° 54.268′ W. Marker is in Texas City, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is on Loop Texas Route 197, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Texas City TX 77590, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The First Texas City Refinery (here, next to this marker); Texas City Terminal Railway Company (here, next to this marker); Propeller of the SS Highflyer (here, next to this marker); Booker T. Washington School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sociedad Mutualista Mexicana in Texas City (approx. 0.9 miles away); Anchor from Freighter Grand Camp (approx. 1.4 miles away); Texas City Dike (approx. 1.4 miles away); First Aero Squadron (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Texas City.
 
More about this marker. Marker is in a group of markers at the roadside in front of the entrance to the Port of Texas City.
 
Also see . . .
1. Texas City Disaster article in the Handbook of Texas. (Submitted on September 25, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas.)
2. Images of the Texas City Disaster - Wikipedia. (Submitted on September 30, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Propeller of "SS HighFlyer," a ship that exploded at Texas City. image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, April 11, 2010
3. Propeller of "SS HighFlyer," a ship that exploded at Texas City.
Marker describing the propeller of the "SS HighFlyer". image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, April 11, 2010
4. Marker describing the propeller of the "SS HighFlyer".
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 2,294 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   3, 4. submitted on , by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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