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Captains of Constitution

Samuel Nicholson Edwin Matthews John Powers
Silas Talbot Thomas Eastman Hugh Moore
Edward Preble George Dewey Jack Reifschneider
Stephen Decatur Henry Howison John McKinnon
John Rodgers, Sr. Augustus Cooke Thomas Coyne
Hugh George Campbell Henry A. Adams, Jr. Tyrone G. Martin
John Rodgers, Sr. James Greer Robert Gillen
Isaac Hull Reigart Lowry Herman Sudholz
William Bainbridge August Cooke Joseph Brown
Charles Stewart Oscar Badger David Cashman
Jacob Jones Francis Baker Richard Amirault
Thomas MacDonough Oscar Stanton Michael Beck
Daniel Todd Patterson Edwin Shepard Christopher Melhuish
George Campbell Read Louis J. Gulliver William F. Foster
Jesse Duncan Elliott Hermann Knickerbocker Randall Neal
Daniel Turner Clarence McBride Lewin C. Wright
Foxhall Alexander Parker Owen Huff Thomas Graves
John Percival Larry Corrolli William Bullard, III
John Gwinn Louis Wood Timothy Cooper
James Rowan Knud Christensen Matthew Bonner
Thomas Conover Albert Messier  
John Rudd Charles Morris  
David Dixon Porter Davis O'Brien  
George W. Rodgers, II Edward Melanson  
Edward Lull Victor B. Stevens  
Henry Blue John Kelleher
Philip Johhson, Jr. Joseph Grew  

 

 

Captain Samuel Nicholson | 22 July 1798 - 5 June 1799

(Born: 1743, Chesterton, Maryland; Died: 28 December 1811, Charlestown, Massachusetts)

A former Continental Navy frigate captain. Second senior on the new US Navy. While fairly successful in his earlier career, showed little to recommend him while in command of Constitution. Secretary of the Navy Stoddert said of him that having him in command reduced the ship to the effectiveness of a 20-gunner. Ordered off ostensibly to oversee the building of a 74-gun frigate. Became first commandant of the Boston Navy Yard. Buried in Old North Church. Has had a torpedo boat and 2 destroyers named for himself and 4 family members, collectively.

Captain Silas Talbot | 5 June 1799 - 8 September 1801

(Born: 11 January 1751, Dighton, Massachusetts; Died: 30 June 1813, New York, New York)

A hero of the Revolution, holding both Continental Army and Navy commissions. Wounded and a prisoner of war several times. Subsequently served as a New York Representative in Congress. Fifth senior captain in the new US Navy. Made two cruises to the Caribbean, serving as Santo Domingo Squadron commander both times. Resigned in 1801 when, through an administrative error, he was not selected for retention when the Navy was down-sized. Has had a destroyer and a guided missile ocean escort named for him.

Captain Edward Preble | 14 May 1803 - 28 October 1804

(Born: 15 August 1761, Falmouth, Maine; Died: 25 August 1807; Falmouth, Maine)

Served in the Massachusetts Navy during the Revolution. Commissioned a lieutenant in the new navy and scheduled to be Constitution's first First Lieutenant, but he was out of the country. Often acerbic, he was a tough but fair disciplinarian. Conducted a series of attacks with the Mediterranean Squadron against Tripoli that eventually induced the Bashaw to negotiate for peace. Awarded a gold medal by Congress. Has had a sloop, a sloop of war, a torpedo boat, a destroyer, a guided missile frigate, and a guided missile destroyer named for him.

Captain Stephen Decatur | 28 October - 9 November 1804

(Born: 5 January 1779, Sinepuxent, Maryland; Died: 22 March 1820; Washington, DC)

Previously commanded Enterprize in the Mediterranean Squadron. Meritoriously promoted to Captain for his daring destruction of the captured Philadelphia in February, 1804. Shortly after Commodore Preble departed, the more senior Captain John Rodgers took Constitution in exchange for the smaller Congress. Decatur received a Congressional silver medal for his Mediterranean service, and a gold one when he defeated HMS Macedonian in the War of 1812. Has had a sloop, 3 destroyers, and a guided missile destroyer named for him.

Captain John Rodgers | 9 November 1804 - 30 May 1806

(Born: 11 July 1773, Havre de Grace, Maryland; Died: 1 August 1836, Washington, DC

First Lieutenant of Constellation and prizemaster of L'Insurgente during the Quasi-War with France. Joined Mediterranean Squadron in Congress, then shifted to Constitution. Peace treaty with Tripoli agreed to in his cabin. Became squadron commander upon departure of the ailing Commodore Samuel Barron. Has had 2 steamers, a torpedo boat, and 2 destroyers named for him.

Captain Hugh George Campbell | 30 May 1806 - 8 December 1807

(Born: 1760, South Carolina; Died: 11 November 1820, Washington, DC)

Began service in the Revenue Marine and was integrated into the Navy during the Quasi-War with France while in command of Eagle.

While in Constitution, also served as Mediterranean Squadron commander. Remained in a shore command during the War of 1812.

Captain John Rodgers | 20 February 1809 - 17 June 1810

(Born: 11 July 1773, Havre de Grace, Maryland; Died: 1 August 1836, Washington, DC)

Commanded both Constitution and the North Atlantic Squadron, enforcing the Jeffersonian Embargo. Required Captain Isaac Hull, his junior, to exchange commands, Rodgers getting Constitution's half-sister, President. During the War of 1812, much to his embarrassment, he never fought an engagement. Except for a tour as Mediterranean Squadron commander, he spent the remainder of his career as President of the Board of Naval Commissioners.

Captain Isaac Hull | 17 June 1810 - 15 September 1812

(Born: 9 March 1773, Derby, Connecticut; Died: 13 February 1843, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Served as lieutenant in Constitution throughout the Quasi-War with France. Commanded USS Argus during Barbary War, for which he received a Congressional silver medal. Won the first American frigate victory of the War of 1812 when he defeated HMS Guerriere on 19 August 1812 in a graceless fight. Awarded a Congressional gold medal. After the war, commanded the Pacific and Mediterranean Squadrons, as well as the Boston and Washington Navy Yards. Has had a sidewheel steamer and 4 destroyers named for him.

Captain William Bainbridge | 15 September 1812 - 18 July 1813

(Born: 7 May 1774, Princeton, New Jersey; Died: 28 July 1833, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Previously commanded Retaliation, George Washington, and Philadelphia, losing the latter to the Tripolines due to his rashness. On 29 December 1812, despite two wounds and having had his helm shot away, he outmaneuvered and destroyed the faster HMS Java. Awarded a Congressional gold medal. Later commanded the Mediterranean Squadron and two Navy Yards, and served on the Board of Navy Commissioners. Has had a brig, 2 destroyers, and a nuclear powered guided missile frigate named for him.

Captain Charles Stewart | 18 July 1813 - 16 July 1815

(Born: 28 July 1778, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Died: 6 November 1869, Bordentown, New Jersey)

Commanded USS Experiment in the Quasi-War with France, and then Siren during the Barbary War, earning a Congressional silver medal. After commanding the blockaded frigate Constellation, took Constitution on two war cruises, taking one small British warship and three merchantmen on the first, and HMS Cyane and Levant on the second. Awarded a Congressional gold medal. Later commanded two squadrons and the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and served on the Board of Naval Commissioners. Promoted to "Senior Flag Officer" in 1859;the senior Retired List admiral in 1862. Has had a destroyer and a destroyer escort named for him.

Captain Jacob Jones | 1 April 1821 - 31 May 1824

(Born: March 1768, Smyrna, Delaware; Died: 3 August 1850, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Served in United States during the Quasi-War with France. Tripolitan prisoner of war during the Barbary War. In command of Wasp, he defeated HMS Frolic early in the War of 1812, for which he received a Congressional gold medal. Then was given command of the captured British frigate Macedonian, which was heavily blockaded. Commanded Constitution and the Mediterranean Squadron simultaneously. Later served a term on the Board of Naval Commissioners and commanded the Pacific Squadron. Has had 2 destroyers and a destroyer escort named for him.

Captain Thomas Macdonough | 31 May 1824 - 14 October 1825

(Born: 23 December 1783, The Trap, Delaware; Died: 10 November 1825; at sea)

Victorious commander of the Lake Champlain Squadron in September 1814, for which he received a Congressional gold medal. After the war, commanded the frigate Guerriere, then commanded the Mediterranean Squadron. While commanding Constitution, he again commanded the Mediterranean Squadron. Declining health forced him to give up his command and take passage for home. He died the day before the ship in which he was travelling reached port. Has had a sidewheel steamer, a torpedo boat, 2 destroyers, and a guided missile frigate named for him.

Captain Daniel Todd Patterson | 14 October - 5 December 1825 and 21 February 1826 - 19 July 1828

(Born: 6 March 1786, Long Island, New York; Died: 25 August 1839, Wilmington, New Jersey)

Served in Delaware during the Quasi-War with France. Was a Tripoline prisoner of war during the Barbary War. Commanded the New Orleans Station throughout the War of 1812 and played a key role in the repulse of the British invasion. He remained in the south until taking command of Constitution. Subsequently, he served as a Navy Commissioner, commanded the Mediterranean Squadron, and was commanding the Washington Navy Yard when he died. Has had 2 destroyers and an ocean escort named for him.

Captain George Campbell Read | 23 January - 21 February 1826

(Born: 9 January 1788, Glastonbury, Connecticut; Died: 22 August 1862, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Photographed shortly before his death. Commanding USS Brandywine, he had taken the Marquis de Lafayette to France and escorted him to Paris while his First Lieutenant took the frigate to the Mediterranean. On arrival at Port Mahon, Read took command of Constitution, then in winter stand-down, while awaiting the return of Brandywine from sea under Captain Daniel Todd Patterson, Constitution's regular captain. Has had a sidewheel steamer named for him.

Captain Jesse Duncan Elliott | 3 March 1835 - 18 August 1838

(Born: 14 July 1785, Hagerstown, Maryland; Died: 10 December 1845, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

One of the most controversial officers of the early Navy, he earned a Congressional gold medal for a daring raid into Canada early in the War of 1812, then failed to support his commander in the Battle of Lake Erie the following year. During his tour as Constitution's captain and commander of the Mediterranean Squadron, he repeatedly ignored regulations and abused his authority. Court-martialled, he was suspended from service for five years, which sentence later was shortened. He was commanding the Philadelphia Navy Yard at the time of his death.

Captain Daniel Turner | 1 March 1839 - 8 November 1841

(Born: 1794, Richmond, New York; Died: 4 February 1850, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Received a Congressional silver medal for his participation in Battle of Lake Erie (1813). After war, spent several years in West Indies Squadron chasing pirates. Known as a rigid disciplinarian. When Commodore Alexander Claxton died on board, Turner became acting commander of the Pacific Squadron. Later commanded the Brazil Squadron and commanded the Portsmouth Navy Yard. Has had 3 destroyers named for him..

Captain Foxhall Alexander Parker, Senior | 15 July 1842 - 16 February 1843

(Born: (unknown) Died: 23 November 1857, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Previously served as the ship's First Lieutenant under Commodore Jacob Jones; designated for part of the time as "Flag Captain" of the Mediterranean Squadron.

Captain John Percival | 13 December 1843 - 5 October 1846

(Born: 3 April 1779, Barnstable, Massachusetts; Died: 7 September 1862, Dorchester, Massachusetts)

One of the early Navy's most colorful characters; known as "Mad Jack" for his impetuousness. Began his naval service as a master's mate in the Quasi-War with France, then, in merchant service after the war, was impressed into the Royal Navy. Escaped, and, in 1809, returned to naval service. Promoted to lieutenant for his part in USS Peacock's capture of HMS Epervier (1814). Later served in the Pacific Squadron and called at Hawaii. The oldest of Constitution's captains, he took her around the world. Beloved by the crew, he was a firm but fair disciplinarian. Has had 2 destroyers named for him.

Captain John Gwinn | 9 October 1848 - 4 September 1849

(Born: 11 June 1791, Maryland; Died: 4 September 1849, Palermo, Italy)

Had been prisoner of war when British captured USS Frolic (1814). Previously commanded Vandalia. Received Pope Pius IX on board, the first time a pontiff set foot on US territory. A severe disciplinarian, flogging men nearly every day. His death, the first of the ship's captains to die in command, was probably due to a slow cerebral hemorrhage.

Lieutenant James H. Rowan | 4 - 18 September 1849

(Born: New York; Died: unknown)

The ship's First Lieutenant, Rowan succeeded to command upon Captain Gwinn's death and sailed her from Palermo to Naples, where a properly senior officer succeeded him. Dismissed from service, 23 January 1857.

Captain Thomas Anderson Conover | 18 September 1849 - 16 January 1851

(Born: 17 April 1791, Monmouth, New Jersey; Died: 25 September 1864, South Amboy, New Jersey)

Was on the Essex's Pacific cruise during the War of 1812, and later commanded gunboat Borer in the Second Battle of Lake Champlain (1814). Awarded a sword by Congress. It was during his tour in Constitution that flogging was abolished in the US Navy.

Commander John Singleton Rudd | 22 December 1852 - 15 June 1855

(Born: 13 March, 1801, Newport, Rhode Island; Died: 12 October 1867, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The slaver H. N. Gambrill was captured during his command. He later commanded the Washington Navy Yard. Retired 21 December 1861.

Lieutenant David Dixon Porter | 1 - 22 August 1860

Sailed her from Portsmouth, NH, to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, with a temporary crew assembled for the purpose. Later participated in the taking of New Orleans, superintended the Naval Academy, and became the Navy's second Admiral.

Lieutenant George Washington Rodgers, II | 20 September 1860 - 23 September 1861

In charge when the ship was towed to New York and then Newport, Rhode Island, when the Naval Academy was relocated northward in the spring of 1861, away from the threat of Confederate seizure. He subsequently was killed in action while commanding a monitor off Charleston, South Carolina.

Lieutenant Edward Phelps Lull | 23 September 1861 - 15 December 1863

Naval Academy Class of 1855.

Lieutenant Henry Martin Blue | 15 December 1863 - 16 April 1864

Naval Academy Class of 1858. Also had charge of USS Santee.

Lieutenant Commander Philip Carrigan Johnson, Junior | 16 April 1864 - 16 February 1866

Naval Academy Class of 1852, returned Constitution to Annapolis in 1865. Also was in charge of school ship USS Santee. Had previously participated in the taking of New Orleans.

Edwin Matthews | 16 February 1866 - 26 February 1866

Lieutenant Commander Thomas Henderson Eastman |  26 February 1866 - 6 November 1867

Naval Academy Class of 1856. Also in charge of school ship USS Santee.

Lieutenant Commander George Dewey | 6 November 1867 - 1 August 1870

Naval Academy Class of 1858, was in charge of the vessels at the Academy. Later achieved fame as the vitor in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898. Promoted to the unique rank of "Admiral of the Navy," he presided over the Navy General Board until his death in 1917.

Lieutenant Commander Henry Lycurgis Howison | 1 August 1870 - 19 September 1871

Naval Academy Class of 1858, was in charge of vessels at the Academy. Participated in the taking of Port Royal and the Battle of Mobile Bay. Later commanded steam sloop USS Pensacola in the Pacific.

Commander Augustus Paul Cooke | 19 - 26 September 1871

Naval Academy Class of 1856, was in charge of the tow of Constitution from the Academy to Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Captain Henry A. Adams, Junior | 13 January - 15 August 1877

(Born: 1833; Died: 1 February 1878, Montevideo, Uruguay)

Naval Academy Class of 1855. Previously participated in the New Orleans/Vicksburg and Fort Fisher campaigns in the Civil War. Also captain of USS Potomac, the receiving ship at Philadelphia.

Captain James Augustin Greer | 15 - 23 August 1877

(Born: 28 February 1833, Cincinnati, Ohio; Died: 7 June 1904, Washington, DC)

Naval Academy Class of 1853. Served in the Mississippi Squadron in 1862-3.

Captain Reigart Boliver Lowry | 23 August - 5 September 1877

(Born: 14 July 1826, La Guaira, Venezuela; Died: 25 November 1880, Brooklyn, New York)

Naval Academy Class of 1846. Wounded at Tuxpan during the Mexican War. Instigator of the Hatteras expedition, 1861. Participated in the New Orleans/Vicksburg campaign and at Galveston.

Commander Augustus Paul Cooke | 5 September 1877 - 9 January 1878

(Born: June 1836, Cooperstown, New York; Died: 7 September 1896, Paris, France)

Naval Academy Class of 1856. Active in the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron during the Civil War.

Captain Oscar C. Badger | 9 January 1878 - 2 August 1879

(Born: 12 August 1823, Windham, Connecticut; Died: 20 June 1899, Concord, Massachusetts)

Naval Academy Class of 1847. Had served in the Potomac Flotilla at start of Civil War, then transferred to the Charleston blockade, where he was severely wounded, 1 September 1863.

Captain Francis H. Baker | 2 August - 25 September 1879

(Born: April 1832, Abbeville, South Carolina; Died: 2 March 1880)

Naval Academy Class of 1853. Had previously served in Constitution as Acting Midshipman, 1848-50. Sudden illness forced Captain Baker's hospitalization and then detachment. In the interim, 25 September - 1 October 1879, Lieutenant Commander Theodore Freylinghausen Jewell, the ship's Executive Officer, acted as Commanding Officer.

Captain Oscar Fitzalan Stanton | 1 October 1879 - 14 June 1881

(Born: 18 July 1834, Sag Harbor, New York; Died: 5 July 1924, New London, Connecticut)

Naval Academy Class of 1855.

Commander Edwin Malcolm Shepard | 14 June - 14 December 1881

(Born: 16 September 1843, Oswego, New York; Died: 17 August 1904, Jeffrey, New Hampshire)

Naval Academy Class of 1863. Served in Western Gulf Blockading Squadron after commissioning, and in the Atlantic Squadron after the war.

Commander Louis Joseph Gulliver | 1 July 1931 - 8 June 1934

(Born: 6 November 1883, Portland, Maine; Died: 17 April 1962, Bethesda, Maryland)

Naval Academy Class of 1907. Commanded the ship on a grand tour of the United States, visiting at least one port in each coastal state from Maine to Washington, and twice transiting the Panama Canal. Remembered as an excellent public relations man, but not a leader.

Lieutenant Commander Hermann Pierce Knickerbocker | 24 August 1940 - December 1941/January 1942

(Born: 25 June 1896, Springfield, New York; Died: 24 December 1963, Jacksonville, Florida)

Lieutenant Commander Knickerbocker was "senior officer present on board" until 24 August 1940, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order placing the ship in commission, at which time Knickerbocker became captain.

Chief Warrant Boatswain Clarence Earl McBride (Retired) | December 1941/January 1942-27 March 1945

(Born: 10 March 1883; Died: 14 December 1964)

The first retired officer to serve as Constitution's captain. Survived the sinking of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) in World War I.

Lieutenant Commander Owen William Huff | 27 March 1945 - 8 July 1947

(Born: 7 January 1903, Columbus, Ohio; Died: 12 January 1987, Vista, California)

Commissioned from enlisted ranks.

Lieutenant Larry Corrolli, USNR | 8 July - November/December 1947

The first Reserve officer to serve as the ship's captain, nothing is known about Lieutenant Corrolli.

Chief Warrant Boatswain Louis Everette Wood | November/December 1947 - 11 March 1950

(Born: 17 June 1921, Lockhart, South Carolina; Died: 13 April 1997, Aurora, Colorado)

Commanded both Constitution and USS Constellation.

Chief Warrant Officer Knud Haabendal Christensen | 11 March 1950 - 30 April 1952

(Born: 20 April 1919, Kvarndrup, Denmark; Died: 13 Feb 2008, St. Petersburg Beach, Florida)

A Pearl Harbor survivor. Also commanded Constellation.

Lieutenant Albert C. Messier | 30 April 1952 - 22 June 1954

(Born: 11 August 1917, Bristol, Connecticut; Died: 14 September 1981, Bristol, Connecticut)

Commissioned from enlisted ranks. Also commanded Constellation.

Lieutenant Charles William Morris | 22 June 1954 - 25 April 1957

(Born: 30 August 1916, East Boston, Massachusetts; Died: 14 March 1993, Chula Vista, California)

Commissioned from the ranks. Also commanded Constellation until 1954.

Lieutenant David G. O'Brien | 25 April 1957 - 31 March 1959

(Born: 12 February 1932, Northampton, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1954.

Lieutenant Edward Joseph Melanson, Junior | 31 March 1959 - 1 July 1960

(Born: 14 December 1935; Stoneham, Massachusetts)

Conducted first "Turnaround Cruise" with the ship. Later rose to the rank of Ambassador in the Foreign Service.

Lieutenant Victor Bernard Stevens, Junior | 1 July 1960 - 29 August 1963

(Born: 23 June 1934; Worcester, Massachusetts; Died: 22 August 2009; Hyannis, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1957.

Lieutenant John Christopher Kelleher, USNR | 29 August 1963 - 28 June 1965

(Born: 17 October 1936; Boston, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1960.

Lieutenant Joseph Clark Grew, II |  28 June 1965 - 28 April 1967

(Born: 20 December 1939; Lawrence, New York)

Later entered Episcopal ministry and became Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio.

Lieutenant John William Powers, USNR | 28 April 1967 - 27 May 1969

(Born: 5 August 1935)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1965.

Commander Hugh Albert Moore | 27 May 1969 - 30 October 1970

(Born: 1 July 1921, Chocowinity, North Carolina; Died: 11 Sep 2009, Middletown, Rhode Island)

A Pearl Harbor survivor. Commissioned from enlisted ranks. Previously commanded USS Luiseno (ATF-156).

Commander Jack Loren Reifschneider | 30 October 1970 - 20 August 1971

(Born: 10 July 1925, Lincoln, Nebraska)

Commissioned from enlisted ranks. Previously commanded USS Aludra (AF-55).

Commander John David McKinnon | 20 August 1971 - 11 December 1972

(Born: 29 May 1924, Salem, Massachusetts; Died: 27 Oct 2005, Beverly, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from enlisted ranks.

Commander Thomas Coyne | 11 December 1972 - 6 August 1974

(Born: 22 Nov 1934, Boston, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School. During much of his tour, the ship was in drydock.

Commander Tyrone Gabriel Martin | 6 August 1974 - 30 June 1978

(Born: 5 June 1930, Greenwich, Connecticut)

Commissioned from NROTC, 1952. Previously commanded two destroyers. Instituted the wearing of 1812 uniforms by the crew. Proposed the modification of guns to fire salutes. Proposed the restoration policy issued by CNO, December 1975. Originated the 4th of July Turnaround. Hosted Queen Elizabeth II of England in ship. Influenced the Secretary of the Navy to drop the "IX-21" designation. Reinstituted the practice of firing morning and sunset guns. Ship received its first Meritorious Unit Commendation during his tour. First captain to be decorated since Charles Stewart.

Commander Robert Leo Gillen | 30 June 1978 - 26 September 1980

(Born: 8 March 1933, Charlestown, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from the ranks. "Frocked" prior to taking command. Received a Meritorious Service Medal at end of tour.

Commander Herman Otto Sudholz | 26 September 1980 - 22 June 1985

(Born: 22 Jun 1934, Glen Cove, New York)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1958. Initiated a program to replace carronades with those of correct 1812 model. Began the inclusion of a crew detachment in Presidential inaugural parades. May be the longest-serving captain in the ship's history.

Commander Joseph Zachariah Brown | 22 June 1985 - 8 July 1987

(Born: 28 September 1939, Warwick, Rhode Island; Died: 8 July 1987, Charlestown, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1961. A very popular captain, he was the second to die in office.

Commander David Matthew Cashman | 1 August 1987 - 21 September 1991

(Born: 8 May 1942, Pittsfield, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1964. Ship received its second Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and first Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation during his tour.

Commander Richard Bradford Amirault | 21 September 1991 - 29 July 1995

(Born: 2 Jul 1949, Somerville, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1973. The ship was in drydock for almost all of his tour.

Commander Michael Charles Beck | 29 July 1995 - 26 July 1997

(Born: 2 October 1954, Lewiston, Pennsylvania)

Naval Academy Class of 1977. First captain to sail Constitution in 116 years.

Commander Christopher Allan Melhuish | 26 July 1997 - 30 July 1999

(Born: 23 September 1957, Baghdad, Iraq)

Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1979. Began Navy-wide heritage indoctrination for new chief petty officers. Revised regulations for period uniforms. Drafted the ship's interpretive manual. Created demonstration gun and gig crews. Sailed ship on trials in Massachusetts Bay, 20 May 1998.

Commander William Feeny Foster, Junior | 30 July 1999 - 11 August 2001

(Born: 28 July 1958, Monterey, California)

Commissioned from NROTC, Class of 1980.

Commander Randall Allan Neal | 11 August 2001 - 19 July 2003

(Born: 2 April 1960, Long Beach, California)

Commissioned from NROTC, Class of 1983.

Commander Lewin C. Wright | 19 July 2003 - 30 July 2005

(Born: 1962)

Graduate of Brandeis University. Commissioned from Officer Candidate School, 1982.

Commander Thomas C. Graves | 30 July 2005 - 10 May 2007

(Born: 1964)

Naval Academy Class of 1987. Administratively removed from command due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command." Permitted to retire following captain's mast.

Commander William A. Bullard, III | 10 May 2007 - 24 Jul 2009

(Born: Fall River, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from NROTC, Class of 1990.

Commander Timothy M. Cooper | 24 Jul 2009 - 22 Jul 2011

(Born: Marshfield, Massachusetts)

Commissioned from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Class of 1992.

Commander Matthew J. Bonner | 22 Jul 2011 -

(Born: Seaford, New York)

Commissioned from Naval ROTC, The Citadel, May 1993.