Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The USS Constitution will sail into open water under its own power to celebrate Guerriere Day, the day the ship earned its "Old Ironsides" nickname.
Charlestown’s nautical prize, the USS Constitution, will set sail under it own power for the first time in 15 years this weekend. According to a release from the Constitution’s public affairs officer, the event will begin at roughly 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19. Once the ship makes it to Presidents Road, the release said, the crew will set up the sails, catch the wind and head toward open water. A crew at Fort Independence on Castle Island will mark the moment with a 21-gun salute. The Constitution is scheduled to return to its pier around 3 p.m. The ship last sailed in 1997 to celebrate its 200th birthday. This year’s open-water sail will commemorate Guerriere Day. On August 19, 1812, the USS Constitution’s crew spotted the HMS Guerriere, …
Monday, September 12, 2011
A look back on the origins and surprising survival of the USS Cassin Young, and at the current debate on how to preserve the destroyer.
(Editor's Note: For a quick history of the Cassin Young, click here.) In World War II, destroyers were all-purpose ships. They could fight off attacks from the air, from the surface of the sea and under its surface. Between June 1942 and February 1945, the US Navy built 175 Fletcher-class destroyers. They were 376 feet in length, which meant they could carry five five-inch dual-purpose guns, torpedoes, several depth charges and antiaircraft guns. They could refuel at sea, allowing them to carry less fuel in the Pacific. They were also the first U.S. destroyers fitted with radar. At the Naval Shipyard, crews built 14 destroyers. But Bethlehem Steel, in San Pedro, Calif., is where the USS Cassin Young was built -- one of 10 destroyers built …
Since the 1980s, the destroyer has been a museum ship in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Now costly repairs jeopardize its status.
The USS Cassin Young is on display in the Charlestown Navy Yard. It's one of only four historic Fletcher destroyers on public display around the country. It launched in 1943, rescued survivors from the USS Princeton and later lost 22 crew members in kamikaze attacks off Okinawa. The destroyer requires costly repairs that go beyond the National Parks Service budget. As of now, it's future is uncertain. For a fuller history of the Cassin Young, click here.