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CHIPS Articles: John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones
"Father of the U.S. Navy"
By CHIPS Magazine - January 26, 2015
Jan. 26, 1913, marks the day the body of John Paul Jones was laid in its final resting place in the Chapel of the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

As an officer of the Continental Navy of the American Revolution, John Paul Jones helped establish the traditions of courage and professionalism that the Sailors of the United States Navy today proudly maintain.

John Paul was born in a humble gardener's cottage in Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, went to sea as a youth, and was a merchant shipmaster by the age of twenty-one.

Having taken up residence in Virginia, he volunteered early in the War of Independence to serve in his adopted country's infant navy and raised with his own hands the Continental ensign on board the flagship of the Navy's first fleet. He took the war to the enemy's homeland with daring raids along the British coast and the famous victory of the Bonhomme Richard over HMS Serapis.

After the Bonhomme Richard began taking on water and fires broke out on board, the British commander asked Jones if he had struck his flag. Jones replied, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

In the end, it was the British commander who surrendered. Jones is remembered for his indomitable will, his unwillingness to consider surrender when the slightest hope of victory still burned. Throughout his naval career Jones promoted professional standards and training. Sailors of the United States Navy can do no better than to emulate the spirit behind John Paul Jones's stirring declaration: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."

Please go to the Naval History and Heritage website for more information and a Bibliography http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/bios/jones-john-paul.html.

Portrait of John Paul Jones - 6 July 1714 - 18 July 1792. Naval History and Heritage Command archives.
Portrait of John Paul Jones - 6 July 1714 - 18 July 1792. Naval History and Heritage Command archives.
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