The U.S.S. Constitution was the first ship commissioned by the United States Navy. In the war of 1812 she earned herself the nickname of Old Ironside . Gun fire from the English warship H.M.S. Guerriere bounced off the side of the Constitution as if they were made of iron rather than hard wood. Gun fire from the Constitution subsequently destroyed the Guerriere. Throughout her entire service life she was never boarded by hostile forces.