Ok, well .... they weren't "battleships" but both were fully commissioned, United States Navy vessels and one had lots of guns.

It would have been a little cooler if we'd had a battleship or an aircraft carrier. Especially an aircraft carrier ... those things ROCK.

Somebody has to keep the cool boats operating though and that's where the USS El Paso came in.

The USS El Paso was a Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship. I guess they made it amphibious in case it ever came back to El Paso and wound up having to operate in the mostly dry Rio Grande.

The USS ... USS stands for United States Ship by the way ... El Paso was first  commissioned in 1970 and was decommissioned in 1994. Decommissioned is the United States Navy's way of saying retired. Which is a nice way of saying "junked".

The ship was taken off the Navy vessel register in 2015 and, as of 2018, they hadn't figured out what to do with it yet.

According to history.navy.mil, it saw some action during the Vietnam Way, though I don't recall reading about very many naval battles during that war.

You can see some pics here or on this Facebook page.

"The first USS El Paso was a patrol frigate launched July 16, 1943. She was 303 feet long, 37 feet wide and carried 2,415 tons at a speed of 20.3 knots. The USS El Paso was armed with nine small guns of various calibers.

"Designed for antisubmarine patrol and convoy escort, the USS El Paso was equipped with depth-charge tracks. - EP Times

There was another USS El Paso in the 40's that had a cooler job. It was a heavily armed patrol boat that hunted submarines and escorted convoys.

It would be pretty cool to have that one sitting in Ascarate Lake, huh? (I assume it's deep enough.) Sadly, the first USS EP was "scrapped" in 1947.

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