COMMODORE JOHN BARRY - "Father of the American Navy," (1745-1803)
Meet Philadelphia's Irish-born naval commander, Commodore John Barry.
Barry was born in a modest thatched cottage in 1745 at Ballysampson on Our Lady's Island, which is part of Tacumshin Parish in County Wexford, Ireland.
In the space of 58 years, this son of a poor Irish farmer rose from humble cabin boy to senior commander of the entire United States fleet.
Intrepid in battle, he was humane to his men as well as adversaries and prisoners.
Barry's war contributions are unparalleled: he was the first to capture a British war vessel on the high seas; he captured two British ships after being severely wounded in a ferocious sea battle; he quelled three mutinies; he fought on land at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton; he captured over 20 ships including an armed British schooner in the lower Delaware; he authored a Signal Book which established a set of signals used for effective communication between ships; and he fought the last naval battle of the American Revolution aboard the frigate Alliance in 1783.
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