Frigate USS Constellation

The USS Constellation was the first warship manufactured for the young US Navy of the United States of America. In this context, she was also the first ship to participate in combat and win a victory.


Launching and design:

The US Congress adopted on March 27, 1794 a law to build their own fleet mainly to fight against pirates and thus to equip the US Navy. This program included the construction of 6 frigates, in addition to the Constellation still the:
- USS Congress
- USS Chesapeake
- US Constitution
- USS President
- USS United States

The launching of the Constellation was on 7 September 1797, she was the first ship in the fleet construction program.


USS Constellation

USS Constellation




The stakes of the USS Constellation:

Although France actively participated in supporting the American independence movement, when it did succeed, the United States declared its military and political neutrality. This attitude also related to the war between France and England, so that France was not granted support. Detested by this circumstance, French ships began to attack and capture US merchant ships at the end of the 18th century. To counteract these attacks, the Constellation's first military mission was to protect US merchant ships and attack French ships.

The command was given to the captain Thomas Truxtun, who on February 9, 1799 for the first time participated in combat operations against the French frigate L'Insurgente and won.


Die Constellation im Gefecht mit der L'Insurgente

The Constellation in action with L'Insurgente


In February 1800, the next victory against the French frigate La Vengeance was after a 5-hour night battles.

The other operations of the Constellation related to the fight against pirates who operated from the North African countries and in the war against Britain in 1812.

In 1840 the ship was circumnavigated, sailing as the first American ship in Chinese waters.




The whereabouts and succession:

In 1853, the Constellation was brought to the Gosport Naval Yard in Norfolk, Virginia, to be demolished. The ship was also officially canceled from the fleet.

1854 was the launch of a corvette, which was also christened the name USS Constellation, with the frigate but had nothing in common to the name.




Ship data:

Ship type Frigate
Country USA
Launching September 7, 1797
Whereabouts 1853 by scrapping
Number of masts 3
Sails Frigate
Length 50 meters
Width 12,5 meters
Displacement 1278 metric tons
Speed Maximum 14 knots
Crew 340 Man
Arming 36 cannons



Die Constellation im Gefecht mit der L'Insurgente

The Constellation in action with L'Insurgente






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