The USS Constitution and the USCG Eagle Cutter docked nose to nose in the Charlestown Naval Yard.
The Eagle is a three-masted sailing Barque with 21,350 square feet of sail. It is homeported at the CG Academy, New London, Connecticut. It is the only active (operational) commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services. (One of five such Training Barques in world. Sister ships include: MIRCEA of Romania, SAGRES II of Portugal, GORCH FOCK of Germany, and TOVARICH of Russia.)
The Eagle bears a name that goes back to the early history of the United States' oldest contiunous seagoing service. The first Eagle was commissioned in 1792, just two years after the formation of the Revenue Marine, the forerunner of today's Coast Guard.
Today's Eagle, the seventh in a long line of proud cutters to bear the name, was built in 1936 by the Blohm & Voss Shipyard, Hamburg, Germany, as a training vessel for German Naval Cadets. It was commissioned Horst Wessel and following World War II was taken as a war prize by the United States. On May 15, 1946, the barque was commissioned into U.S. Coast Guard service as the Eagle and sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany to New London, Connecticut.
USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It was first launched in 1797. Constitution is one of six ships ordered for construction by George Washington to protect America's growing maritime interests. The ships greatest glory came during the war of 1812 when she defeated four British frigates which earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides," because cannon balls glanced off her thick hull.
September 4th, 2013
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