October 19, 2012

USS Constitution to leave Boston berth to mark anniversary

Berthed in Charlestown, 'Old Ironsides' is known as the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — The USS Constitution will take a journey in Boston Harbor to mark the anniversary of its October 1797 launching.

click image to enlarge

In this July 21, 1997, photo, the Blue Angels fly in formation over the USS Constitution as she free sails off the coast of Marblehead, Mass.

AP

The ship will be tugged by Fort Independence on Castle Island on Friday, when the crew will give a gun salute at about 11:30 a.m.

Berthed in Charlestown, the ship is known as the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat.

Around 12:15 p.m. Friday, there will be another gun salute as the ship passes the former site of the shipyard where it was built.

The crew will fire 17 shots then, one for the ship, and 16 more representing the number of U.S. states when the vessel launched on Oct. 21, 1797.

It earned its nickname "Old Ironsides" after winning a battle against the British during the War of 1812.

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