“Old Ironsides”, World’s Oldest Commissioned Naval Ship, Sails Boston Harbor on Navy’s 239th Birthday, Dry Dock Next

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The USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, commemorated the Navy’s 239th birthday and the ship’s upcoming 217th birthday by sailing around Boston harbor on October 17. More than 500 guests were aboard as the ship blasted off a 21-gun salute off Fort Independence on Castle Island (oldest continuously fortified site of English origin in the United States, built in 1634) and an additional 17 gun salute near the Coast Guard Base, Boston. In addition to the Navy crew of 60 who maintain the ship, there were 150 Navy Chief Petty Officer (E-7) selects who climbed up the masts to man the rigging and sails.