Rank(s): Able Seaman
Dates of Service: -
Dunn’s place and date of birth are unknown.
Dunn joined Constitution’s crew as an able seaman on August 2, 1812 at Boston, MA. Shortly after, he was severely wounded in the August 19, victory over HMS Guerriere and discharged upon the ship’s return to Boston on September 24.
The able seaman was the elite member of the crew. Having sailed for years “before the mast” on merchant vessels or worked his way up through the ranks in the navy, it was on him that the officers relied for the smooth operation of the ship. The traditional requirements for the seaman were that he be able to “hand (furl or take in a sail), reef (reduce a sail’s area), and steer,” but these were in fact the barest requirements for the seaman rating. In addition, they were expected to be familiar with nearly all aspects of shipboard labor. He had to be able to cast the sounding lead, sew a sail with a palm and needle, and understand all parts of the rigging and the stowage of the hold. Furthermore, he had to know how to fight as part of a gun crew or with small arms. It was from the ranks of the able seamen that the petty and warrant officers were drawn. The able seaman made $12.00 per month.
Battles and Engagements
Dunn participated in the victory over HMS Guerriere on August 19, 1812, receiving $42.62 ½ in prize money. Later that day, one of his legs was amputated due to wounds received in the battle.
Because of his disabling injury, Dunn received a pension of unspecified amount upon his discharge from the Navy. His place and date of death are unknown.