down: January 18, 1954
Launched: May 7, 1955
Commissioned: as DD 932: April 5, 1956
as DD 932:
December 20, 1965
Commissioned: as DDG 32: March 15, 1967
as DDG 32:
December 15, 1982
April 30, 1986 and berthed in Suisin Bay, California;
finally sunk as a
target on January 31, 2001
location: 32° 00’
06.0“ N / 121° 36’ 23.0“ W (Pacific)
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.
Early in 1779, the French King gave Jones an ancient East Indiaman Duc de
Duras, which Jones refitted, repaired, and renamed Bon Homme Richard as a
compliment to his patron Benjamin Franklin. Commanding four other ships and two
French privateers, he sailed 14 August 1779 to raid English shipping.
On 23 September 1779, his ship engaged the HMS Serapis in the North Sea off
Famborough Head, England. Richard was blasted in the initial broadside the
two ships exchanged, losing much of her firepower and many of her gunners.
Captain Richard Pearson, commanding Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if
he surrendered. Jones' reply: "I have not yet begun to fight!"
It was a bloody battle with the two ship literally locked in combat.
Sharpshooting Marines and seamen in Richard's tops raked Serapis with
gunfire, clearing the weather decks. Jones and his crew tenaciously fought on
, even though their ship was sinking beneath them. Finally, Capt. Pearson
tore down his colors and Serapis surrendered.
Bon Homme Richard sunk the next day and Jones was forced to transfer to
After the American Revolution, Jones served as a Rear Admiral in the service
of Empress Catherine of Russia, but returned to Paris in 1790. He died in
Paris at the age of 45 on 18 July 1792. He was buried in St. Louis Cemetery,
which belonged to the French royal family. Four years later, France's
revolutionary government sold the property and the cemetery was forgotten.
In 1845, Col. John H. Sherburne began a campaign to return Jones' remains to
the United States. He wrote Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft and
requested the body be brought home aboard a ship of the Mediterrean Squadron.
Six years later, preliminary arrangements were made, but the plans fell
through when several of Jones' Scottish relatives objected. Had they not,
another problem would have arisen. Jones was in an unmarked grave and no one
knew exactly where that was.
American Ambassador Horace Porter began a systematic search for it in 1899.
The burial place and Jones' body was discovered in April 1905. President
Theodore Roosevelt sent four cruisers to bring it back to the U.S., and these
ships were escorted up the Chesapeake Bay by seven battleships.
On 26 January 1913, the remains of John Paul Jones were laid to rest in the
crypt of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Md. Today, a Marine
honor guard stands duty whenever the crypt is open to the public.