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I have an Aussie friend (retired Aussie Major) who prides himself on making the "perfect cup of tea." Apparently its a big deal 😀
Vic
 

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And a hearty congratulatory Independence Day to all! The day before the 4th, my wife and I were heading home to Ohio from our family farm in Illinois. We stopped at a small antique store in Illinois and I bought this small 8 1/2x 12 1/2 framed print. Looked to be an old print too with an American flagged vessel on the left. Maybe the Bonhomme Richard running up against the HMS Serapis? Don't really know for sure and haven't seen this print anywhere else. Had to have it though! Long live the USA!
Kim
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Discussion Starter #24
USS Bonhomme Richard

The USS Bonhomme Richard was originally an East Indiaman named Duc de Duras, a merchant ship built at Lorient according to the plan drawn up by the King's Master Shipwright Antoine Groignard for the French East India Company in 1765. Her design allowed her to be quickly transformed into a man-of-war in case of necessity to support the navy.

She made two voyages to China, the first in 1766 and the second in 1769. At her return the French East India Company had been dissolved, and all its installations and ships transferred to the French Navy.

As a naval ship she made a voyage to Isle de France (Mauritius) before being sold to private shipowners in 1771. She sailed in private service until she was purchased by King Louis XVI of France in early 1779 and placed under the command of John Paul Jones on 4 February. The size and armament of Duc de Duras made her roughly equivalent to half of a 64-gun ship of the line.

Jones renamed her Bon Homme Richard (usually rendered in more correct French as Bonhomme Richard) in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the American Commissioner at Paris whose Poor Richard's Almanac was published in France under the title: " Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard "

On 19 June 1779, Bonhomme Richard sailed from Lorient accompanied by USS Alliance, Pallas, Vengeance, and Cerf with troop transports and merchant vessels under convoy to Bordeaux and to cruise against the British in the Bay of Biscay. Forced to return to port for repair, the squadron sailed again 14 August 1779. It went northwest around the west coast of the British Isles into the North Sea and then down the east coast. The squadron took 16 merchant vessels as prizes.

On 23 September 1779, the squadron encountered the Baltic Fleet of 41 sail under convoy of HMS Serapis and HM hired armed ship Countess of Scarborough near Flamborough Head. Bonhomme Richard and Serapis entered a bitter engagement at about 6:00 pm. The battle continued for the next four hours, costing the lives of nearly half of the American and British crews.

British victory seemed inevitable, as the more heavily armed Serapis used its firepower to rake Bonhomme Richard with devastating effect. The commander of Serapis finally called on Jones to surrender. He replied, "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!" Jones eventually managed to lash the ships together, nullifying his opponent's greater maneuverability and allowing him to take advantage of the larger size and considerably more numerous crew of Bonhomme Richard.

An attempt by the Americans to board Serapis was repulsed, as was an attempt by the British to board Bonhomme Richard. Finally, after another of Jones's ships joined the fight, the British captain was forced to surrender at about 10:30 pm.

The USS Bonhomme Richard – shattered, on fire, leaking badly, defied all efforts to save her and sank about 36 hours later at 11:00 am on 25 September 1779. Jones sailed the captured Serapis to the Dutch United Provinces for repairs.

Though the USS Bonhomme Richard sank after the battle, the battle's outcome was one of the factors that convinced the French crown to back the US Colonies in their fight to become independent of British authority.

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