Historic Ships

On May 18, 2015, the worlds oldest commissioned military ship afloat, the United States Navy's USS CONSTITUTION (Old Ironsides) entered drydock at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Massachusetts for a 2.5 to 3 -year restoration with most of the work to be on the ship's bow and on her hull below the waterline.

On July 23, 2017 at 2315 hours, USS CONSTITUTION was again afloat in Boston Harbor after 26 months in drydock for repairs to her hull and rigging. She was at a layberth for final repairs and reopened to the public in September of 2017.

In October this year, CONSTITUTION will celebrate her 221st birthday.


October 17, 1941 -

WWII - in the dark of early morning on this date, about 50 miles west of Alexandria, the German submarine, U-97 torpedoed and sank the Greek steamer. SAMOS, which was loaded with Government stores destined for Tobruk. A  British garrison there was under siege by German forces commanded by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. 31 of the ship's crew were lost, three survived. About thirty minutes later, U-97 hit the British tanker, PASS OF BALMAHA, with two torpedoes. The tanker was loaded with aviation gas and petrol also destined for Tobruk. The hit immediately sent the ship up in a huge sheet of flame. All 20 men onboard were lost.

U-97 was sunk west of Haifa in June, 1943 by depth charges dropped by Australian warplanes. 27 men were lost, 21 survived. By the time it was sunk, it had accounted for 16 ships sunk and one more damaged - all totaling about 81,000 GRT.


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