Museum Showcase: USS Constitution
The frigate Constitution holds the distinction of being the oldest commissioned warship afloat. She currently resides at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts and is crewed by a dedicated group of United States Navy sailors. Originally launched in 1797, Constitution was one of the first six frigates authorized and built for the US Navy. The frigate won 33 battles without a single defeat over her 58 years of active service that included combat in the Quasi War, the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. Today also happens to be the 204th anniversary of Constitution defeating the HMS Cyane and HMS Levant on 20 February 1815. The author has been fortunate enough to visit the Constitution twice. Once in 2013, when most of these photos were taken, and in 2017 while the ship was in dry dock.
1. USS Constitution
2. The ship’s bell
3. The stern and ship’s boats
4. An outside view of the gun deck. Constitution was originally pierced for 44 guns, but usually carried around 50 in combat.
5. The mainmast and colors
6. A 32 pound carronade
7. Three 24-pounders on the port side of the gun deck, near the bow.
8. A hammock on the berth deck
9. 24 pound cannonballs
10. Constitution in Dry Dock 1, Charlestown Navy Yard on 16 July 2017.
*All photos taken by the author*
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