Birth of the U.S. Navy
On June 12, 1775 the Rhode Island Assembly commissioned armed ships to fight the British Navy. That Fall on October 13, 1775 the Second Continual Congress established the United States Navy marking this date as the Navy’s official birthday.
The first United States naval vessel was the USS Ganges, built in Philadelphia as a merchant vessel. She was bought by the US Navy, fitted out with 24 guns for a crew of 220 men, and commissioned on 24 May 1798. Following this, John Paul Jones was appointed Commander of the French ship Duc de Duras, which had been in service as a merchant ship between France and the Orient. Her design was such that she could easily be converted to a man of war, which she was, when fitted out with 50 guns and an extra six 6-pounder and renamed the Bonhomme Richard. On September 23, 1779 the Bonhomme Richard fought in the Battle of Flamborough Head, off the coast of Yorkshire,England where, although winning the battle, caught fire from the bombardment and sank 36 hours later. John Paul Jones commandeered a British ship named the HMS Serapis and sailed the captured ship to Holland for repairs. The Serapis was transferred her to the French as a prize of war, who then converted her into a privateer. In 1781, she sank off Madagascar to an accidental fire that reached the powder locker, blowing her stern off.
Following the Revolutionary War the Continental Navy was disbanded, however George Washington responded to threats to American shipping by Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean with the Naval Act of 1794, which created a permanent U.S. Navy. As a part of this Act, the first ships that were commissioned were six frigates, which included the USS Constitution and the USS Constellation.
Captain Hank Bracker, the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer and are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.