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USS Bonhomme Richard (I)


Frigate:
  • A merchantman built in 1766 under the name Duc de Duras for La Compagnie des Indes, France's version of England's East India Company
  • Purchased by Louis XVI from a Monsieur Berard in early 1779 and placed at the disposal of Capt. John Paul Jones by France's Minister of Marine, Monsieur Gabriel de Sartine, for operations against the British
  • USS Bonhomme Richard preyed on English shipping around the British Isles until meeting HMS Serapis, 23 September 1779
  • Bonhomme Richard and Serapis fought fierce, four-hour close-range fight until Serapis finally struck her colors
  • Bonhomme Richard, shattered, on fire, and leaking badly defied all efforts to save her and sank at 1100, 25 September 1779
  • Before she went down, Commodore John Paul Jones transferred his crew to the prize, Serapis
    Specifications:
    Displacement 998 t.
    Length 152'
    Beam 40'
    Depth 19'
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 380
    Armament
    six 18-pdrs
    twenty-eight 12-pdrs
    nine 9-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Bonhomme Richard 266k Artwork by F. Muller (1883 - 1966) of USS Bonhomme Richard, circa 1779.
    This image is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 512971
    Robert Hurst
    Bonhomme Richard 111k Drawing of USS Bonhomme Richard under way. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 158k Drawing of USS Bonhomme Richard under way.
    US Navy image.
    Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 277k Ship models of USS Bonhomme Richard, 1779, by Martin R. Harrop. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 540k
    Bonhomme Richard 106k Ship models of USS Bonhomme Richard, 1779, by Michael Czytko Kuehlstr. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 540k Wooden model of USS Bonhomme Richard from the National Archives Trust Fund Board Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 492k Painting by Harry W. Carpenter of USS Bonhomme Richard underway. From the National Archives Trust Fund Board Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 520k Painting by James Hamilton of the battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1779. National Archives Trust Fund Board. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 72k Painting by William Gilkerson, Beverly R. Robinson Collection, US Naval Academy Museum of USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis. Bonhomme Richard is shown with royals and port topsail studding sails set. Both ships have courses clewed up. Note, also, the respective paint schemes: Serapis with a broad yellow stripe over her gun ports; Bonhomme Richard with solid black sides. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 228k The battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1779
    From the book "Pictorial History of American Ships, On the High Seas & Inland Waters" (1953) by John and Durant
    Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 168k French post card depicting the battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1779 Arnold Putnam
    Bonhomme Richard 162k Post card depicting the battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1779. ©Helen Tilton, 1905. Arnold Putnam
    Bonhomme Richard 185k Painting by Robert Dodd of the fight between Commodore John Paul Jones, USN in USS Bonhomme Richard and Capt. Richard Pearson, RN in HMS Serapis, 23 September 1779 Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 98k Print titled "The Battle between the 'Bon Homme Richard' Com John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy and 'The Serapis' Capt Pearson of the British Navy, September 23nd 1779". Printed by Thos. Birch, Published by Frank G. Stewart. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 402k Illustration of USS Bonhomme Richard on fire during her Battle against HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head, Yorkshire, England, 23 September 1799, Illustrator Unknown. Illustration frontispiece from Memoirs de Paul Jones.
    United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division digital ID cph.3b03765
    Robert Hurst
    Bonhomme Richard 227k The Battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1799. 1954 Bowman U.S. Navy Vic #1 trading card series. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 152k The Battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1799 . Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 268k The Battle between USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis, 23 September 1799. An 1855 hand colored illustration: "Engagement between the Bon Homme Richard and Serapis" from "The New World embracing American History", by Henry Howard Brownell, A. M. 1855. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 180k A woodcut print from "Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization" newspaper from July 14, 1877. This is a great original newspaper that features PAUL JONES AND HIS VICTORY AT SEA. Tommy Trampp
    Bonhomme Richard 77k John Paul Jones bids goodbye to victorious ship USS Bonhomme Richard, 25 September 1779. Painting by Percy Moran for the MSC collection. Tommy Trampp
    Alliance 943k Treasury Dept 1st Auditor letter of 4 January 1843, subject - Prize money claim, John Paul Jones crew, USS Alliance and USS Bonhomme Richard. Tommy Trampp

    USS Bonhomme Richard (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 29 July 2016