US Navy History

I got this from Spence’s Blog, A Sailors Life:

This may not be accurate, but it’s pretty funny and gives you an idea of what the old navy used to be like, (even before my time!)

The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators.

However, let it be noted that according to her log, “On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum.”

Her mission: “To destroy and harass English shipping.”

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine. On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each. By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.

Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water.


0 thoughts on “US Navy History

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  2. This story was worth sharing about how the Navy used to be, and I’m sure that there was much more that has changed since the old days. :)Are you also in Sweden? There were a lot of other ships in port with us, as part of a NATO task force.

  3. Well, that made them sound like pirates. I know of the don’t ask don’t tell…but was there any booty collected with all of that partaking of the spirits?