On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorizes the first American naval force which is know today as the United States Navy. Since hostilities were underway since April with the former motherland, Great Britain, there had been little thought about the protection by sea. When news of a British navy fleet being on its way, action was needed. In November, the Continental Navy was formally organized. In December, Esek Hopkins was appointed its first commander-in-chief.
The first fleet consisted of seven ships: two 24-gun frigates, the Alfred and the Columbus; two 14-gun brigs, the Andrea Doria and the Cabot and three schooners, the Hornet, the Wash, and the Fly. The Navy often names ships the same as a previous, hence these familiar ship names from the World War two error. The Navy had success during the Revolutionary War with several victories. Afterwards it was disbanded for several years, but formally established again when the Department of the Navy was established in April 1798.