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USS Constellation constructed in 1854 is a sloop-of-war and the second United States Navy ship to carry this famous name. According to the US Naval Registry the original frigate was disassembled on 25 June 1853 in Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia, and the sloop-of-war was constructed in the same yard, possibly with a few recycled materials from the old frigate. USS Constellation is the last sail-only warship designed and built by the U.S. Navy. Despite being a single-gundeck “sloop”, she is actually larger than her frigate namesake, and more powerfully armed with fewer but much more potent shell-firing guns.
The sloop was launched on 26 August 1854 and commissioned on 28 July 1855 with Captain Charles H. Bell in command.
From 1855-1858 Constellation performed largely diplomatic duties as part of the US Mediterranean Squadron.
She was flagship of the USN African Squadron from 1859-1861. In this period she disrupted the African slave trade by interdicting three slave ships and releasing the imprisoned Africans.
After the Civil War Constellation saw various duties such as carrying famine relief stores to Ireland and exhibits to the Paris Exposition Universelle (1878). She also spent a number of years as a receiving ship (floating naval barracks).
After being used as a practice ship for Naval Academy midshipmen, Constellation became a training ship in 1894 for the Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island where she helped train more than 60,000 recruits during World War I.
Decommissioned in 1933, Constellation was recommissioned as a national symbol in 1940 by President Franklin Roosevelt; by this time the ship had become widely confused with her famous predecessor of 1797. She spent much of the Second World War as relief (i.e. reserve) flagship for the US Atlantic Fleet, but spent the first six months of 1942 as the flagship for Admiral Ernest J. King and Vice Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll.
Constellation was again decommissioned on 4 February 1955 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 August 1955 — about 100 years and 2 weeks from her first commissioning. She was taken to her permanent berth at Constellation Dock, Inner Harbor at Pier 1, 301 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland— and designated a National Historic Landmark (reference number 66000918) on 23 May 1963. She is the last existing American Civil War-era naval vessel and was one of the last sail-powered warships built by the U.S. Navy. She has been assigned the hull classification symbol IX-20.
Photographed with a Nikon D90 and a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Wide Angle Lens