Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
On 23 September 1779 off Flamborough Head, England, during the Revolutionary War, Continental Navy frigate Bonhomme Richard, under the command of John Paul Jones, captured HMS Serapis. When asked to surrender his ship during the battle, Jones replied “I have not yet begun to fight!” This painting by Anton O. Fischer depicts the battle at sea. NHHC image NH 56467-KN.
On 19 August 1812, during the War of 1812, U.S. Frigate Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere. British cannonballs seemed to bounce off Constitution's hull during the battle, leading to her timeless nickname, “Old Ironsides.” This painting by Anton Otto Fischer depicts Guerriere's masts going over the side as Constitution rakes her from ahead. Courtesy Miss Katrina S. Fischer. NHHC image NH 48472-KN.
This painting, “Chase of the Constitution, July 1812,” by Anton Otto Fischer, depicts the boats of U.S. Frigate Constitution towing her in a calm, while she was being pursued by a squadron of British warships in the opening month of the War of 1812. After a 3 day chase off New Jersey, Constitution finally escaped the British squadron on 19 July 1812. NHHC image NH 85542-KN.
On 22 June 1807 HMS Leopard attacked United States Frigate Chesapeake. Bound for the Mediterranean after taking on stores and ammunition at Hampton Roads, Chesapeake was unprepared for action when the British frigate Leopard stopped her and demanded that she be searched for Royal Navy deserters. When this was refused, Leopard fired on Chesapeake, killing and wounding several of her crew. This sketch by Fred S. Cozzens, copied from his 1897 book “Our Navy — Its Growth and Achievements” depicts Leopard, at right, firing on Chesapeake. NHHC image NH 74526.
Museum Store Stocks Bric Tek Navy Warship Building Block Kits
The Navy Museum store, located in the National Museum of the United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard, recently began stocking Bric Tek building block kits of simulated naval warships. We currently stock seven different construction kits, ranging from a small frigate, all the way to a huge helicopter carrier (seen above) consisting of nearly 2,000 pieces. These Bric Tek sets are fully compatible with LEGO building blocks. Many of the ship sets come with smaller aircraft including helicopters and jets, and the carrier set even includes a hovercraft that can be safely stowed in a well deck! The sets also include poseable figures with guns, radios, and other attachments.
On 14 April 1988 the guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) struck an Iranian mine off Qatar, and was saved by the courageous damage control efforts of her crew. While there were numerous injuries, the crew suffered no fatalities.
BOOK REVIEW – The Sailing Frigate: A History in Ship
By Robert Gardiner, Seaforth Publishing (distributed by Naval Institute Press in the United States), (2013).
Reviewed by Mark Lardas
Robert Gardiner’s latest book, The Sailing Frigate: A History in Ship Models, illustrates why he is so highly-regarded. He has previously written three other books about that cover frigate development from the 1740s through the end of the Napoleonic Era frigates (all worth having for those interested in frigate development). This latest work covers the whole of frigate history, presenting the history of frigate development from 1600 through 1850.