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USS Constitution, Massachusetts

It was four warships against one and the USS Constitution prevailed. Nothing could take down the powerful “Old Ironsides” She earned this nickname in the War of 1812 against the British because not the power behind cannonballs bouncing off her side could not even slow her down.

The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.She sailed the U.S. navy to many victories starting in 1797. George Washington ordered her construction to protect America’s ports. Four years later she was ready complete with a wooden full and 200 foot tall wooden masts that have sailed the ship to glory across the sea. The ship patrolled areas of the West Indies, Brazil and the West African Coast.

Inside sailors toughed out unpleasant conditions. There were not enough hammocks for all 500 crew members forcing them to sleep in four hour shifts. Cannons lined up along a lower floor peek out from the ship. It took at least three sailors to launch one a weapon. The barrels that were topped off with grog can also be seen just below the main level.

The USS Constitution is now berthed sail at the Charleston Navy Yard, the place the British Army pulled in during the Battle of Bunker Hill. It is one for the oldest shipyards in the United States. A crew of 70 active Navy Duty still sail the ship six to eight times a year. You can even board America’s most victorious ship; navy personnel leads free tours hour on the hour.

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