The defeat of H.M.S.Java was one of the several celebrated frigate actions of the Anglo-American War of 1812. Java, a captured French frigate absorbed into the Royal Navy in 1811, was en route to Bombay late in 1812 when she found it necessary to put into the Brazilian port of San Salvadore for fresh water. On the morning of 29th December, she sighted a vessel flying no colours and gave chase; her adversary turned out to be the American frigate Constitution which, despite the initial damage caused by Java's opening broadside, soon gained the upper hand. After about two hours Java was seriously damaged and at 6 o'clock, by which time the furious engagement had lasted fully four hours, she struck her colours and surrendered. The next day, Java's smouldering hulk, far too damaged to justify repair, was put to the torch and thereby provided the United States with a major propaganda coup as the year ended.
The action between the brig H.M.S. Frolic and the U.S. brig Wasp was initially a British defeat when the former was surprised whilst escorting a convoy 240 miles north of Bermuda. Although the two vessels were evenly matched, Wasp's commander was a better tactician and, after a short but very spirited engagement, Frolic was battered into submission. The U.S. victory proved short-lived however, when both Wasp and her newly-taken prize were captured by the 74-gun H.M.S Poictiers which came upon the scene unexpectedly.