American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
A Nation in the Making
   The American Revolution (1775-1783)

We refused to surrender.

United States Naval Academy
(Crypt of John Paul Jones)
Annapolis, Maryland

  The American ship Bonhomme Richard was conducting a routine patrol off the coast of England on September 23, 1779, when Captain John Paul Jones sighted the British warship, Serapis. His crew began firing, but the British responded in full force, tearing gaping holes in the American ship. When the British captain demanded surrender of the Bonhomme Richard, Jones courageously shouted back, "No! I have not yet begun to fight!" Lobbing hand grenades at the enemy ship from close quarters, the Americans fought to victory.

   Admiral John Paul Jones died in Paris in 1792 at the age of 45. Not until 1905 were his mummified remains found in an unmarked coffin in a common burial ground. In 1906, by order of President Teddy Roosevelt, the Revolutionary War hero began his journey to America for re-burial. The coffin was transported by train to Cherbourg, then by torpedo boat to the USS Brooklyn. The transatlantic crossing took 13 days and French ships joined the USS Maine and others, making a total fleet of 11 military vessels. In 1913, John Paul Jones was buried beneath the chapel at the United States Naval Academy. The elaborate marble coffin of America's first Naval hero is held up by four huge bronze dolphins.

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