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Sails of Glory – Bonhomme Richard 1779
East Indiamen were large merchant ships, sailing under the flag or major European trading powers on behalf of the powerful East India companies, trading and enriching them. While their main purpose was to transport goods and passengers, they were often well–armed to defend themselves, but they were normally not very fast. The crew and number of guns were widely variable, depending on the kind of service they were doing.
Originally named “Duc de Duras”, this ship was loaned by the French Crown to the newborn American Continental Navy, to be placed under the command of John Paul Jones; she was renamed “Bonhomme Richard”, in honor of Benjamin Franklin. During her cruise against the British, in the Battle of Flamborough Head, the Bonhomme Richard met her destiny fighting gloriously against the British Frigate HMS Serapis. Even if his ship was seriously damaged, John Paul Jones won the battle, but in the end lost his ship, which sunk in the aftermath of the battle.
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