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ONSV21WS105

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Original Pre-WWII U.S. Navy USS Constitution Commander Louis J. Gulliver Grouping

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Original Group: Only One Available. Now this is something you just don’t come across everyday. A grouping attributed to a Commander of probably the most famous warship. The USS Constitution is not just the world's oldest ship of any type still afloat … she is most noted for her actions during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom. The USS Constitution and her crew captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships: HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane, and Levant.
 
Commander Louis Joseph Gulliver received orders to report to the Constitution in March 1931, just as the old frigate was completing a four-year restoration.
 
Born in Maine on November 6, 1883, Louis Gulliver attended public schools and then entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1903. He was commissioned an ensign four years later. He joined the battleship Illinois (BB-7) in August 1907 and participated in the circumnavigation of the Great White Fleet. He left the ship after its return to the United States early in 1909. He again served in a battleship, this time USS Georgia (BB-15), at the outbreak of World War I. One of the oldest battleships in the fleet, Georgia’s wartime service was limited to tactical and gunnery exercises on the East Coast in preparation for combat service, if called. Gulliver got command of the light minelayer Murray (DM-2), a converted destroyer, in 1920, and was involved in development projects related to mine and anti submarine warfare until his ship was decommissioned in 1922. Shore duty in the Boston recruiting office followed. He was serving as executive officer of the old cruiser Rochester (CA-2), protecting the interests of American citizens in strife-torn Haiti, when he received orders to command the Constitution.
 
For the next three years, on a National Cruise to thank American citizens for their support of the ship’s 1927 to 1931 restoration, “Old Ironsides,” towed by the minesweeper USS Grebe, toured the United States, proceeding first north to Maine and then south along the East and Gulf Coasts. At every stop, crowds from the surrounding countryside poured in to see the famous frigate, which was also greeted with a variety of parades, demonstrations, dinners, and receptions. USS Constitution transited the Panama Canal between December 27, 1932 and January 7, 1933 to begin a tour up and down the West Coast. Her reception there was as warm as it had been on the East Coast. By the time Constitution returned to Boston on May 7, 1934, Gulliver had proven himself an able public relations representative of the navy while hosting more than 4.6 million visitors. He decommissioned the ship on June 8, 1934. Gulliver himself retired in the following year. He died in Bethesda, Maryland on April 17, 1962.
 
This incredible grouping is consisted of the following items:
-U.S. Navy Bicorn Hat: This would have been worn as part of Full Dress Blue, Dress Blue, and Evening Full Dress. Worn in conjunction with the Evening-Dress Coat, and could be worn at state occasions, ceremonies, solemnities, and was the Navy equivalent of white-tie dress. The bicorn or cocked hat was authorized for wear until the 1947 Navy uniform regulations excluded them from the prescribed uniform articles. The hat is off a faux fur construction and features officers' adornments on the front and back. There is no damage to the outside of the hat, but there is slight darkening to the yellow coloring. The leather sweatband on the inside is torn slightly in places and there is about a 2 inch section missing. There is no other damage to the inside. The hat is approximately a small size at 54cm or 6 ¾.

-Busch Prism Binoculars: “Terlux 24x54” and has a serial number of 152436

-U.S. Navy Leather sword belt with three rows of gold wire decoration and gilt brass buckle emblazoned with displayed eagle and anchor.

-Brush epaulettes with fine gold wire bells and silver bullion anchor and commander oak leaves, marked K Kusafuji, YOKOHAMA.

-One Commander Shoulder Board: The oak leaves are bullion and the back is marked Harry Sadow / NAVAL UNIFORMS / New York, N.Y.
 
- Leather case with interior lined in purple velvet. The exterior has an original paper label that reads: Commander L.J. Gulliver USS Constitution.
 
All items are in great display condition and would look wonderful in a Pre WWII Naval Collection. This is a very historically significant grouping and deserves to be proudly displayed!
 
The USS Constitution
A national icon for more than 200 years, USS Constitution has had a long and illustrious career.
 
USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is a three-masted wooden-hulled heavy frigate of the United States Navy. She is the world's oldest ship of any type still afloat. She was launched in 1797, one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. The name "Constitution" was among ten names submitted to President George Washington by Secretary of War Timothy Pickering in March of 1795 for the frigates that were to be constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Constitution and her sister ships were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built at Edmund Hartt's shipyard in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. Her first duties were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.
 
Constitution is most noted for her actions during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships: HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane, and Levant. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides" and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping. She continued to serve as flagship in the Mediterranean and African squadrons, and she circled the world in the 1840s. During the American Civil War, she served as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy. She carried American artwork and industrial displays to the Paris Exposition of 1878.
 
Constitution was retired from active service in 1881 and served as a receiving ship until being designated a museum ship in 1907. In 1934, she completed a three-year, 90-port tour of the nation. She sailed under her own power for her 200th birthday in 1997, and again in August 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerriere.
 
Constitution's stated mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy's role in war and peace through educational outreach, historical demonstration, and active participation in public events as part of the Naval History & Heritage Command. As she is a fully commissioned Navy ship, her crew of 75 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping her open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty Navy personnel, and the assignment is considered to be special duty. She is usually berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard at one end of Boston's Freedom Trail.
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