Skip to comments.USS Constitution Sails For First Time Since 1997
Posted on 08/20/2012 11:21:06 AM PDT by moonshot925
CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution departed her berth from Charlestown, Mass. Aug. 19, to set sail for the first time since 1997, during an underway demonstration commemorating Guerriere Day.
The underway honored the 200th anniversary of Constitution's decisive victory over the HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812, marking the first time a United States frigate defeated a Royal Navy frigate at or nearly equal size. It's also the battle in which Constitution earned her famous nickname "Old Ironsides."
The ship got underway at 9:57 a.m. with tugs attached to her sides and 285 people on board, including special guests, such as the 58th, 59th, 62nd and 65th former commanding officers of Constitution; Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, Commander, Submarine Group Two; Rear Adm. Ted Branch, Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic; Vice Adm. William French, Commander, Navy Installations Command; retired Navy Capt. Thomas Hudner Jr., Medal of Honor recipient; and Dr. Phil Budden, Britain's Consul General to New England.
At 10:27 a.m., Budden and Bonner tossed a wreath into the ocean to honor and remember Constitution's battle with the HMS Guerriere.
When the ship arrived at President Roads, a body of water of Boston Harbor, the crew then set three sails from Constitution's main, mizzen and fore masts, and at 12:25 p.m., she detached from her tugs and sailed west under her own power for 17 minutes. She sailed at a maximum speed of 3.1 knots, at an average of two knots, and at a distance of 1,100 yards.
(Excerpt) Read more at navy.mil ...
She’s a beauty!
Awesome! Weapon of mast construction.
May she always have fair seas
What a great symbol of american imperialism.
If Obamao stays in power I could see him mothballing her in the ghost fleet to await dismantling so we don’t upset any other country by keeping her around.
I take it the captain did not go water-skiing.
Safety harnesses and tie offs in the rigging? Gone are the days when wooden ships were sailed by iron men!
If I remember the model of the Constitution I assembled when I was a kid, the sails run up are the foremast mainsl, the mainmast mainsl, and the mizzenmast mainsl.
How’d I do?
I read once that part of her hull is 25 inch thick oak. If that’s so, no wonder cannon bounced off.
With only topsails bent, she would have trouble making way in breezes so light, especially when turned to the wind. Topgallants and Royals are in order. I suspect a modern engine is generating the wake seen in the photo.
Only ship underway after the EMP event......just sayin’
“Any thoughts?” Ping.
The USS Constitution should not be birthed at Charlestown, Mass, it ought to be constantly visiting various American ports as I’ll be damned if I’m ever going to the liberal craphole that is Mass ever again.
At the outset of the War of 1812, USS CONSTITUTION had already won all of her engagements in two wars: the Quasi War with France (1798-1801) and the Barbary Wars (1801-1805). During the War of 1812, to the surprise of both the Americans and the British, she defeated four English warships, earning each of her three captains a congressional gold medal. Upon returning to Boston from each victory at sea, the ship and her sailors were honored with parades and public adoration, and her legend grew into the national icon that Old Ironsides remains to this day.
In the course of this 35-minute battle, an astonished sailor observed British 18-lb. iron cannonballs, bouncing harmlessly off USS CONSTITUTIONs 25-inch oak hull, and he cried out, Huzza! Her sides are made of iron! Henceforth, USS CONSTITUTION carried the nickname Old Ironsides
USS CONSTITUTIONs 24-lb. shots were devastating, bringing down the English warships masts, and entangling the two ships when they collided. The first United States Marine Corps officer to die in combat at sea was Lt. William Bush, who was shot on USS CONSTITUTIONs taffrail while attempting to board HMS GUERRIERE.
"The Guerriere was so cut up, that all attempts to get her in would have been useless, Capt. Dacres explained in a letter to his superiors in England. As soon as the wounded were got out of her, they set her afire, and I feel it my duty to state that the conduct of Captain Hull and his Officers to our Men has been that of a brave Enemy.
At 2 p.m., USS CONSTITUTION opened fire on HMS JAVA, a 38-gun ship that was smaller and faster than her adversary and commanded by Capt. Henry Lambert. HMS JAVA's opening salvo damaged USS CONSTITUTION's rigging and spars and wounded Bainbridge. Raking fire from HMS JAVA to the American frigate's stern shattered the helm and killed or injured the four helmsmen. Wounded a second time in the thigh, Bainbridge passed steering orders to Marines in the ship's tiller room, who moved the rudder using block and tackle.
Setting the fore and main courses, USS CONSTITUTION closed fast and delivered a broadside that destroyed HMS JAVA's bowsprit cap, jib boom and head sails. When the British frigate's bowsprit became entangled in the opposing vessel's mizzen rigging, Bainbridge seized the opportunity to fire a final broadside. USS CONSTITUTION's boarding party salvaged the helm from the dismasted HMS JAVA, to be outfitted aboard "Old Ironsides."
The traditional naval wish is "Fair winds and following seas."
Now thats America!She is just awesome.
Nope, sorry. She was under topsails only. Foremast Main and Mizzen.
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