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USS Plymouth (1844) was a sloop-of-war constructed and commissioned just prior to the Mexican-American War. She was heavily gunned, and traveled to Japanmarker as part of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s effort to force Japan to open her ports to international trade. She also served in European and Caribbeanmarker waters and, later in her career, she was used to train midshipmen.

Plymouth was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Plymouth, Massachusettsmarker, a town on Plymouth Baymarker, about 35 miles southeast of Boston, Massachusettsmarker. Plymouth was founded by the Pilgrims in 1620.

Built in Boston in 1844

Built by the Boston Navy Yardmarker, she departed Boston, Massachusettsmarker, on 3 April 1844 for the Mediterranean Seamarker, Commander Henry Henry in command.

After over a year in European waters, she sailed westward and arrived at New York Citymarker on 4 October 1846.

Far East operations

Following service on the east coast, Plymouth departed New York Citymarker, 13 February 1848, for the Far East, returning to Norfolk, Virginiamarker, from the East Indies on 29 January 1851. On 23 August 1851 she stood out from Hampton Roads, Virginiamarker, bound once again for the Orient.

After duty on the East Indies Station, she joined Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japanmarker, entering Tokyo Baymarker on 8 July 1853 and departing on 17 July. She returned in February of the following year and before heading home put into Shanghai where she sent a party ashore to support a coordinated British-American expedition against hostile forts in the area.

Training Navy midshipmen

Returning to Norfolk, Virginiamarker, 11 January 1855, Plymouth began an extended tour in the Atlantic Oceanmarker. Assigned as midshipmen training ship during the summers of 1855 and 1856, she tested new ordnance under the command of Commander John A. Dahlgren in 1858 and resumed duties as a training ship for midshipmen during the summers of 1859 and 1860.

Scuttled during the American Civil War

Plymouth was at Norfolk, Virginia, for repairs during the secession crises in the winter of 18601861. After Virginiamarker seceded from the Union, she was burned and scuttled there, 20 April 1861, to prevent her capture by the forces of the Confederate States of America when the Norfolk Navy Yardmarker fell into their hands.

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