• One of the most renowned figures in American history is credited with being the nation's first naval hero. John Paul Jones captained the USS Bon Homme Richard in the revolutionary war.

    United States navy

    Jones' historic defeat of the British vessel HMS Serapis marked the first naval victory in United States history. Both ships were virtually crippled. The British commander insisted that Jones surrender. Jones, with half of his crew dead, said "I have not yet begun to fight", and proceeded to take over the HMS Serapis and her crew. This victory forced Britain to regard the United States Navy as a serious threat and changed the way the war was fought.

    United States morale

    The morale of the newly independent nation increased dramatically after word of Jones' victory spread. It finally seemed possible that the colonies could defeat the British and win the war.


    Jones' accomplishment also impressed the French government, which had actually gifted him the Bon Homme Richard. Because of this and other victories, France entered the war against Britain and was instrumental in the United States' eventual victory.

    Naval Tradition

    Jones' refusal to surrender is at the core of the modern Navy's philosophy. Every sailor knows and lives by Jones' "I have not yet begun to fight" attitude.

    Historical impact

    John Paul Jones is a colorful figure in American history. Without his achievements the war might have gone very differently. He was a turning point in our nation's history.


    Biography on John Paul Jones

  • Because Led Zeppelin recorded their live album "The Song Remains The Same" in America and used footage from that particular gig in the movie of the same title.
  • John Paul Jones Becomes an American Revolutionary War Hero While living in America he became sympathetic to the colonist desire for independence from Great Brittan. Being from Scotland he had witnessed how unfair the British could be to parts of their empire. In 1775 when the American Revolutionary War began he volunteered for the Continental Navy. The Americans desperately needed experienced naval commanders and John Paul Jones quickly rose through the ranks to command his own ship and was promoted to the rank of captain in the new American fleet. Jones was a very successful naval military commander and had several victories over the superior British Navy. In 1778 Jones actually led an attack on England. He attacked the costal town of Whitehaven. Although there was not much damage inflicted on the British the attack did alarm them and made them nervous that other attacks may be attempted. The attack compelled the British to allocate resources for defense that could have gone to the war effort in America. In 1779 while in command of the Bonhomme Richard he achieved his most famous victory. His ship was badly damaged and when asked if he wished to surrender he shouted out "I have not yet begun to fight". He then proceeded to ram the British ship Serapis and tie the two ships together. After brutal fighting the British surrendered. John Paul Jones ship was hopelessly damaged so he took over the enemy ship.

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