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John Paul Jones (1747-1792)
During the American Revolution, many Scots were loyal to the Crown. John Paul Younger was not one of them. His skills as a fighting sailor are legendary. Born in Galloway, the naval hero began his seafaring career as a cabin boy on a ship to Virginia before becoming chief mate of a slave ship. On a return voyage home after he had quit the slave trade, his successful handling of his ship after the captain and chief mate had died of fever earned him his own master's certificate. Sailing in the Caribbean, after killing the ringleader of a mutinous crew in 1772 upon a vessel he had purchased, John fled the islands and changed his name from John Younger to John Jones. Upon the outbreak of the War of Independence, he was commissioned in Philadelphia as senior lieutenant in the Continental Navy.

Jones' military career was one of distinction; he was allowed to raise the Grand union flag on the Alfred, flagship of the new American fleet. Against the British fleet, he was an unstoppable force, capturing many prizes of war and sinking many others. In 1777 he was given command of the newly built Ranger and sailed for Europe. He continued his string of victories off the British and French coasts, managing to avoid capture and being hailed as a hero in France and the United States.

With a small fleet under his command, aboard the Bonhomme Richard, Jones managed to defeat the British Serapis, though incurring heavy loss of life. This was a stunning victory for the infant republic and a major defeat for the previously invincible ships of His Majesty's Navy. Honors quickly followed both in Europe, where he was made chevalier of France and in America where he was feted in Congress and given a new ship. He also accepted an appointment as rear admiral in the Russian Imperial Navy. Though he died complaining of his lack of recognition and buried in an unmarked grave in Paris, his remains were later escorted back to the US and buried with full honors in Annapolis, Maryland.

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