Texas City Disaster

April 16, 1947

These pictures were loaned to me by Scott Mellott. He works for the Houston Fire Department and you can visit his Webpage at www.houstonfirememorial.org.

All pictures were taken by J.D. Robinson and have never been published before until now.


Houston Fire Department in Texas City
Engine 3

Taken from Town

Truck and car twisted together, the car is at top of pile.

Railroad cars located about a half mile from the explosion. All are heavily damaged.

This was a small two story office building that housed a Molasses Import-Export Company. There were a number of dead found in this wreckage.

A picture of all over the disaster area. Notice some of the buildings that were several blocks from the explosion were completely engulfed in flames.

Residential area about one and a half miles from explosion.

A small warehouse about three quarters of a mile from explosion.

Rescue workers bring a body from the impact area. Notice the barge Longhorn II in background.

Covered bodies and debris at the edge of the ship.

This is another shot of the LONGHORN II barge that washed several hundred feet inland from the tidal wave that was created by the explosion. The large piece is part of the Grandcamp and is tangled with vehicles.

The remains of a fire truck on left. The picture is looking from town into disaster area.

Driving into the disaster area.

Emergency Hospital set up among the trees

Notice in almost all the pictures the ground is covered with mud and water. The was caused by a tidal wave that went all the way to the edge of town. This mud and water was blown up from the bottom of the ship's slip. There was also some molasses mixed with it from the molasses tank.

Ruptured and collasped molasses tank. Note the string hanging from the highlines in the foreground. There was a large storage of hay bailing twine stored in the hole of the ship. The twine was scattered over the entire area of about a mile radius. It some areas it looked like a giant cobweb.

This is about three quarters of a mile from the impact area.

Unidentified Priest along with a number of rescue workers. Notice the barge on the left in background. This was brought inland about a block from where it was docked. All the vehicles are what is left of the Texas City Fire trucks.

Remains of a warehouse. Notice all the fire hoses in foreground.

Remains of employees automobiles. Some were stacked as many as three high in some places.

Man in white hat is Chief Grover C. Adams, Training Chief of the Houston Fire Department back in 1947.

The ship "Wilson B. Keene" was partially sunk several hundred yards from the explosion.

This is a grain elevator and is located about one half mile from the explosion.