Texas City in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Texas City Disaster
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
Erected 1990 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11576.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1893.
Location. 29° 23.531′ N, 94° 53.325′ W. Marker is in Texas City, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is on Dike Road, 0.1 miles west of Skyline Drive, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Texas City TX 77590, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Propeller of the SS Highflyer (here, next to this marker); Anchor from Freighter Grand Camp (approx. ¼ mile away); Texas City Dike (approx. ¼ mile away); First Aero Squadron (approx. ¼ mile away); Anchor Park (approx. ¼ mile away); William Jefferson Jones (approx. half a mile away); Site of Austinia (approx. half a mile away); Old Bay Lake Ranch (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Texas City.
More about this marker. The marker has moved to a new location at the entrance to the Texas City Dike.
Also see . . . Images of the Texas City Disaster - Wikipedia. (Submitted on September 30, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 25, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 3,414 times since then and 234 times this year. Last updated on July 11, 2022, by Joe Lotz of Denton, Texas. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 9, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. 4. submitted on September 25, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. 5. submitted on April 15, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.