"I have just begun to fight!"
With those ringing words John Paul Jones replied to the British demand fro surrender in 1779. And for that defiant stand the "Father of the American Navy" is remembered.
For four years young Captain Jones had fought in the naval battles of the American Revolution. He had raided the sea coast of England, Captured a British sloop and taken several merchant ships as prizes.
As captain of the frigate Ranger, he was the first to hoist the Stars and Stripes to the masthead of an American man-of-war. It was the proudest moment of his life, for this was a new flag of a new country- the United States of America. Captain Jones ordered a thirteen-gun salute and glowered with pride when heard the answering salute of the French flagship. The youngest nation was recognized by the powerful country of France!
The captain's exploits off the coast of Scotland followed, when he scaled a ten-foot wall, spiked the guns of the fort in Solway Firth, and nearly kidnaped the Earl of Selkirk. Then, given command of the Bon Homme Richard, He and his men fought the English like tigers.
The life story of this great naval hero—a story of American daring and independence, of heroic sacrifices for friends and country—is magnificently told by Armstrong Sperry, a Newberry Medal winner who is especially noted for his stories of the sea.
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