Rededication of Kempenaar Park, Home to Constellation Anchor
|RADM J.P. Wisecup addresses crowd at the dedication|
On Thursday August 19, Naval War College President Rear Admiral James. P. Wisecup rededicated the newly renovated Kempenaar Park in front of an audience of staff, faculty, students and members of the Kempenaar Family. The park was first dedicated to Esau Kempenaar in 1976 in recognition for the family's friendship to the Naval War College. Since 1956, the Kempenaars have welcomed each incoming Naval Command College Class to Newport with a traditional New England style clambake. The park is also home to the anchor of USS Constellation, the stationary training vessel berthed at Newport from 1894 until 1946. It is worth taking a step back to revisit the anchor's long history with the the naval station and the college.
USS Constellation, launched on August 26, 1854, was the second of three U.S. Navy ships named for the constellation of stars in the national flag. The 22-gun sloop of war, the last all-sail vessel designed and built by the navy, served two missions in the Mediterranean to show the flag and protect American interests. From 1859-1861, she served as flagship of the African Squadron, a force mandated to protect legal American shipping and suppress the transatlantic slave trade off the coast of West Africa. Prior to her arrival in Newport, the sloop was assigned to the United States Naval Academy from 1871 to 1893 as a practice ship for midshipmen.
|A vintage postcard showing Constellation and two of her anchors, c. 1939|
|at her berth during a drill on Dewey Field, c. 1918|