Thursday, July 06, 2006

Happy Birthday To The President And......

John Paul Jones, founder of the U.S. Navy, was born on this day in 1747.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."

John Paul Jones
A founder of the U.S. Navy

John Paul was born at Arbigland, Kirkbean, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, 6 July 1747. Apprenticed to a merchant at age 13, he went to sea in the brig Friendship to learn the art of seamanship. At 21, he received his first command, the brig John.

After several successful years as a merchant skipper in the West Indies trade, John Paul emigrated to the British colonies in North America and there added "Jones" to his name. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Jones was in Virginia. He cast his lot with the rebels, and on 7 December 1775, he was commissioned first
lieutenant in the Continental Navy, serving aboard Esek Hopkins' flagship Alfred.

As First Lieutenant in Alfred, he was the first to hoist the Grand Union flag on a Continental warship. On 1 November 1777, he commanded the Ranger, sailing for France. Sailing into Quiberon Bay, France, 14 February 1778, Jones and Admiral La Motte Piquet changed gun salutes — the first time that the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the new nation, was officially recognized by a foreign government.


Anonymous said...

On 23 Sept 1779 off Famborough Head, England, Jones' BONHOMME RICHARD locked up with HMS SERAPIS in the most remarkable ship duel of the American Revolution. BONHOMME RICHARD was severly damaged, many of her crew were dead or wounded. CAPT Richard Pearson commanding HMS SERAPIS asked Jones if he sought quarter and if he was ready to strike his colors. Jones replied: "I seek no quarter, nor shall I offer any for I have not yet begun to fight!"
The Marine sharpshooters in the rigging of BONHOMME RICHARD raked the weather decks of HMS SERAPIS with musket fire that cleared them of the enemy. The tenacity and courage of the American Sailors and Marines under the leadership of Jones eventually won the day and CAPT Pearson was forced to strike his colors and surrender HMS SERAPIS to the Continental Navy. Jones and his crew were forced to abandon BONHOMME RICHARD as she was damaged beyond saving. The American crew hoisted American colors in SERAPIS.

AFSister said...

My son shares his birthday with the President AND the founder of the Navy.


BostonMaggie said...

I love you SouthieBoy! Should I have also made reference to our favorite SWO movie?

AFSis - Which son? Tell him we said Happy Birthday!