USS Constitution officially named one of her 24-poung long guns the “Go Navy” in honor of Navy Midshipmen Football last week.
The 121st Army-Navy Game was played on Saturday, December 12, at West Point, N.Y., and CBS Sports televised the game. Army won the close contest, 15-0.
“There’s no better way for us to say ‘Go Navy’ than to fire a gun by the same name this morning and each and every morning and evening going forward,” said Cmdr. John Benda, USS Constitution’s 76th Commanding Officer, prior to firing a saluting battery round.
USS Constitution is a 44-gun frigate and, at 223 years old, she is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
Early Navy Sailors frequently named the guns they served on, and while there are no available records for the names of Old Ironsides’ guns, some of her current guns have been given names based on records from her sister ships: USS Chesapeake and USS United States.
These include Brother Jonathan, True Blue, Yankee Protection, Putnam, Raging Eagle, Viper, General Warren, Mad Anthony, America, Washington, Liberty for Ever, Defiance, Liberty or Death.
USS Constitution’s modern armament are replicas produced in the 1920s, and the newly-christened “Go Navy” is one of two such guns modified with a saluting battery in the 1970s, allowing it to fire ceremonial rounds.
The “Go Navy” gun will fire twice a day, every day, for morning and evening colors as the American Flag is raised and lowered aboard the ship in the morning and sunset.
USS Constitution is currently closed to public visitation to reduce exposure to COVID-19.