Commodore. He led the first US naval victory of the War of 1812. In August 1812 he commanded the USS Constitution, 44, in a successful single-ship action against HMS Guerrière, 38. In thirty minutes Hull took advantage of his ship’s heavier armament, his seamanship, and the sturdy construction of Constitution to reduce his opponent to a virtually defenceless condition. Following the battle, Constitution became known as ‘Old Ironsides’, and she is preserved as a historic ship in Boston harbour. Hull delivered a much needed victory to the young USN, and became an instant hero. His action served notice of the lethal capabilities of the US heavy frigates.