Townsend native earns historian qualification aboard USS Constitution

Damage Controlman 1st Class Julia Murray (right), assigned to USS Constitution, earned her basic interpretive historian qualification and received the command ballcap. She is standing with Command Senior Chief Jans Valdespou.(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk/Released)
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BOSTON — Damage Controlman 1st Class Julia Murray, a native of Townsend, earned her basic interpretive historian qualification aboard USS Constitution on Thursday.

Duty aboard USS Constitution is one of the Navy’s special programs, and all prospective crewmembers must meet a high standard of sustained excellence and interview to be selected for the assignment.

“I’m glad all my hard work paid off,” Murray said.

Murray, a 2014 graduate of Middlesex Regional High School, has served in the Navy for six years and her previous duty stations included the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85).

The active-duty sailors stationed aboard USS Constitution normally provide free tours and offer public visitation to more than 600,000 people each year as they support the ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history, maritime heritage and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence.

USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat and played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855.

The ship earned the nickname of Old Ironsides during the war of 1812 after British cannonballs were seen bouncing off the ship’s wooden hull and it was undefeated in battle and captured 33 opponents.