USS Constitution – 215 Year Old Ship Sets Sail Again

USS Constitution

USS Constitution. Credit: Flickr / Eric Kilby / CC BY-SA 2.0

USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel, at a ripe old age of 215 years took a quick sail from the Boston Harbor on August 19, 2012.

This has been the ship’s first sail on its own power since it turned 200 in 1997. For nearly 17 minutes, the ship sailed across 1,100 yards, reaching a maximum speed of 3.1 knots. The sail was to commemorate her victory over a British warship of the same size in the war of 1812. Due to her battle with Guerriere, the ship earned the nickname “Old Ironsides”.

Chief Petty Officer Frank Neely who was amongst the 285 lucky people aboard the Constitution felt the trip was one memorable journey despite some clouds lurking above.

The USS Constitution defeated the British warship HMS Guerriere in the war of 1812 in a matter of 35 minutes. The ships even collided at one point during the battle, but the Constitution turned out to be the winner due to its sheer size.

After the sail, the ship took to Fort Independence on nearby Castle Island where it was fired a 21-gun salute. Today, the ship is primarily used to teach history to about 500,000 people who tour it every year.

 

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