Photos donated by Leah Chauvin, Daughter of Henry Chauvin who is credited for the photos.

The information below was supplied to me by my Mother before she passed away in January 2004.

My father Henry P. Chauvin Sr. was working at Monsanto on the day of the explosion. My Mother, Floreine Chauvin and her Mother, Annie Laenger, were working at Lerner's Department Store on 6th Street when the explosion happened. My Mother stated that several of the Grandcamp crewmen were in the store when the intial fire started. They all rushed back to the ship and when it exploded, all were lost.

My Grandfather Louis Laenger, thinking that Texas City was being bombed by enemy planes had a heart attack.

My Sister, Shirley, Brother, Henry P Jr. and Uncle, James Laenger were in the main house located at 204-3rd Avenue North. When the explosion happened, all the windows in the house blew out and the three of them ended up with cuts on their faces and body.

The force of the explosion disintergrated my Mother's china (glass) hutch which was built into the wall in the dining room. Except for four small wine glasses, everything else was destroyed.

My Father has seldom talked about what happened on that day. He lost a lot of good friends and co-workers. Very little was told to me when I was growing up. I often wondered why the old Texas City High School Gym located on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street was never used as was the Administration Offices and classrooms fronting Fourth Avenue. I was in the gym one time when I was a little girl. My parents told me that the gym and the rest of the buildings were structurally unsafe and that is why they were not used. Part of the school complex was used.

I attended Danforth Elementary School and the lunch room and several other classes were in another building behind the elementary school. It was in the same block as the other buildings mentioned above. I think the building housing the elementary school still stands, but do not know what it is being used for now. I really think that the gym was a silent reminder of what role it played during and after the explosion. That is where the bodies were taken for identification.

I moved away in October 1987. It was on a trip back to TC, one time, when idrove down Sixth Street and noticed that the gym had been demolished.


HERE is a letter dated June 20, 1947 to Henry Paul Chauvin. It is from the Monsanto Plant Manager H. K. Eckert


Baystreet Seawall



First Row, Second from right is Henry Paul Chauvin

9 1/2 Year Old Henry Jr. at 204-3rd Ave. N.
Face is bandaged on left side.