1947 Texas City Disaster Memorials Tour
Search for Texas Historical Markers
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 incuded 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.

External website with story and historical photos

Texas City Memorial Cemetery

Texas City Memorial Cemetery located at
North Loop 197 and 29th Street

3200 lbs anchor of the Grandcamp thrown 8575 ft
when the ship exploded April 16, 1947

Closeup of plaque on anchor

Entrance to the Memorial Cemetery

Grief statue within Memorial Park

Plaque on the bench left of the Grief statue

Grief statue with Historical Commission Plaque
detail to the right --->

Mound where remains of unidentified are buried

Fireman's Memorial in front of Grief statue

In Memory of Texas City Volunteer Firemen

Photo from the second burial mound

Memorial listing those who died

Poem written on cemetery entrance post

Poem on other cemetery entrance post

Kiosk detailing the story of the disaster

Memorial to Peace with a child holding dove

Memorial to Texas City war dead

Memorial to Texas City WWII dead

Anchor Park

Anchor Park located at Bay St. and Dike Rd entrance

Another Grandcamp anchor at the Dike entrance

Plaque to the left of the anchor

Mikeska-Sandberg Park

Highflyer propeller at Loop 197 South at Dock Road

The tiny park is surrounded by refineries

Two plaques underneath the propeller

Park known as Mikeska-Sandberg Park

February 21st, 2004