Wednesday, September 22, 2004

This day in military 1779

On this day (September 23rd) in military 1779, the Bonhomme Richard, commanded by Captain John Paul Jones, defeated the British ships Serapis and Countess of Scarborough off the east coast of England. During the battle, the Bonhomme Richard was heavily damaged by the Serapis' broadsides. Seeing this, the British captain inquired as to whether the Americans desired to surrender and Captain John Paul Jones replied "I have not yet begun to fight." The Americans went on to win the battle but were forced to transfer to the Serapis as the Bonhomme Richard sank the next day. This was the first victory for an American warship in English waters and in honor of ship, two other ships have been carried the name Bonhomme Richard (also known as the "Bonny Dick" to her crews). The first was CV-31 (later CVA-31), an Essex-class aircraft carrier which served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam and the second is today's LHD-6, an amphibious assault ship which served during Operations Enduing Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.


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