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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)
.
 
Location. 29° 22.534′ N, 94° 54.268′ W. Marker is in Texas City, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is on Loop State Highway 197, on the right when traveling north. Touch 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). Touch for a list and map 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 High Flyer, a ship that exploded at Texas City. image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, April 11, 2010
3. Propeller of SS High Flyer, a ship that exploded at Texas City.
Marker describing the propeller of the SS High Flyer image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, April 11, 2010
4. Marker describing the propeller of the SS High Flyer
Propeller of the SS Highflyer
The SS Highflyer exploded in the main slip on 4-17-1947
after being set on fire by the SS Grandcamp which
exploded in the north slip on 4-16-1947. It is
dedicated in memory of those who died and in honor
of those who survived to make Texas City a safer and
better place in which to live and work.
April 16, 1987
Texas City Terminal Railway Co.
K.L. Demaet, President
One of the destroyed ships three days after the explosion image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections via Wikipedia. By unknown, April 18, 1947
5. One of the destroyed ships three days after the explosion
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 2,424 times since then and 141 times this year. Last updated on February 18, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page was the Marker of the Week April 16, 2017. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 18, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   3, 4. submitted on September 25, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas.   5. submitted on April 15, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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