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History of USS Java

Early in the War of 1812, Constitution captured British frigate Java in a bitter fight off the coast of Brazil 29 December 1812. However, Java's shattered condition and the long distance from home prompted Commodore Bainbridge to burn his prize. American frigate Java was named for this American victory, and, later in the Civil War, the screw sloop of war under construction at the New York Navy Yard.


(Frigate: tonnage 1,511; length 175' between perpendiculars; beam 44'6"; dph. 13'8; complement 400; armament 33 long 32-pounders, 20 42-pounder carronade)

Java was a 44-gun frigate built at Baltimore in 1814 and 1815 by Flannigan and Parsons. Not completed until after the end of the War of 1812, Java, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry in command, got underway from Baltimore 5 August 1815, picked up spare rigging at Hampton Roads and New York, and sailed to Newport, R.I., to fill out her crew. Ordered to the Mediterranean, the new frigate stood out from Newport 22 January 1816 in the face of a bitter gale. At sea one of her masts snapped with 10 men upon the yards, killing 5.

Java was off Algiers in April where Perry went ashore under a flag of truce and persuaded the dey of Algiers to honor the treaty which he had signed the previous summer but had been ignoring. Next she visited Tripoli with Constellation, Ontario, and Brie to show the strength of the United States. Then, after a cruise in the Mediterranean stopping at Syracuse, Messina, Palermo, Tunis, Gibraltar, and Naples, the frigate returned to Newport early in 1817, and was laid up at Boston.

Java returned to active service in 1827 under Captain William M. Crane for a second deployment in the Mediterranean. There she protected American citizens and commerce and performed diplomatic duties. Toward the end of the cruise she served as flagship of Commodore James Biddle.

After returning to the United States in 1831, Java became receiving ship at Norfolk, where she was broken up in 1842.

Java was the name assigned to a screw sloop begun by the New York Navy Yard in 1863 but never completed. Her hulk was broken up in 1884.


6 August 2001