Alleged to have been built in Baltimore, Maryland in 1797, the USS CONSTELLATION was transferred in 1955 to a group of Baltimore citizens for preservation and display. Initiating a protracted, vitriolic and public dispute, some maritime historians have claimed since 1947 that the ship presently exhibited is another warship with the same name built near Norfolk, Virginia in 1855. Has the ship had a continuous identity since 1797 or are those claims a mistake or a hoax? In March 1989 the U.S. Navy's Curator of Ship Models, situated at the David Taylor Research Center, located and identified in the Navy's vast collection, the 1853 designer's half hull model representing the design for a new CONSTELLATION. Further investigation by the Curator's office indicated that essentially all of the historical records cited, clearly substantiating the 1797 origin of the present ship, had probably been forged by a CONSTELLATION employee between 1956 and 1965. 1 (for a copy of the complete report "FOULED ANCHORS").

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