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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.

Commodore Esek Hopkins (1718-1802), Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy

Commodore Esek Hopkins (1718-1802), Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy

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.

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6 responses

  1. Wayne E. Turner says:

    Maryann, you need to proofread and correct your typos before posting.

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  2. hollyasbury says:

    Reblogged this on libertybelle diaries and commented:
    Little bit of U.S. Navy history.

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  3. Birgit says:

    Great post about how this began. It’s funny how they reuse old names. I toured on that old ship in Boston Harbour which, at the moment, its name escapes me dang it all! Old Ironside??

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    • I guess it is sometimes to honor one lost. My dad’s carrier was the 8th Hornet. His was named in honor of the Hornet lost in WW2 previously. That Hornet was famous from Midway and Doolittles Raid. My dad’s Hornet had many great WW2 activity and was also the retriever of Apollo 11 after splashdown.

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