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Updated: 07/04/2014 08:00:02AM

Serving aboard ‘Old Ironsides’

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BOSTON (Aug. 23, 2013) USS Constitution sets sail in Boston Harbor to commemorate the 201st anniversary of Constitution's battle with HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812. The underway also marked the culmination of a week's worth of seamanship and leadership training for more than 150 chief petty officer (CPO) selectees living aboard 'Old Ironsides' for CPO Heritage Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter D. Melkus/Released)

140516-N-SU274-002 BOSTON (May 16, 2014) Electronics Technician 2nd Class Adam Way, a native of Port Charlotte, Fla., is part of a hand-picked Navy crew serving on the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, the USS Constitution. The 218-year-old Boston-based ship named by President George Washington to honor the Constitution of the United States of America. Famously known as "Old Ironsides," the Constitution is a wooden-hulled three-masted heavy frigate that originally launched in 1797 as one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Armament Act of 1794. "It is an honor to serve on the USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned war fighting vessel, but I am even prouder to serve alongside its 75 member crew," said Cmdr. Sean Kerns, Constitution's 73rd commanding officer. "Each sailor selected to serve on the USS Constitution has a unique story to tell, like that of "Old Ironsides." The mission of today's Navy is not much different than in 1797: protecting and defending America on the world's oceans." (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Peter Melkus /RELEASED)


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After the sea battle between the USS Constitution and the British warship the HMS Guerriere on Aug. 19, 1812, a sailor from the crew of the Constitution was lowered over the side to assess the battle damage.

When he saw several of Guerriere’s cannonballs lodged into the side of the ship, he yelled up to Commodore Isaac Hull, “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!” Peering down, Hull replied, “Ironsides, aye!”

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