USS Ranger (1777)

USS Ranger (1777)

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USS Ranger (1777)

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The first USS Ranger was a sloop-of-war in the Continental Navy, and received the second salute to an American fighting vessel by a foreign power (the first salute was received by the USS Andrew Doria when on 16 November 1776 she arrived at St. Eustatius and the Dutch island returned her 11-gun salute).

Ranger (initially called Hampshire) was launched 10 May 1777 by James K. Hackett, master shipbuilder, at the shipyard of John Langdon on what is now called Badger's Island in Kittery, Maine; Captain John Paul Jones in command.

After fitting out, she sailed for France on 1 November 1777, carrying dispatches telling of General Burgoyne's surrender to the commissioners in Paris. On the voyage over, two British prizes were captured. Ranger arrived at Nantes, France, 2 December, where Jones sold the prizes and delivered the news of the victory at Saratoga to Dr. Franklin. On 14 February 1778, Ranger received an official salute to the new American flag, the "Stars and Stripes," given by the French fleet at Quiberon Bay. Ranger sailed from Brest 10 April 1778, for the Irish Sea and four days later captured a prize between the Scilly Isles and Cape Clear. On 17 April, she took another prize and sent her back to France. Captain Jones led a daring raid on the British port of Whitehaven, 23 April, spiking the guns of the fortress, and burning the ships in the harbor. Sailing across the bay to St. Mary's Isle, Scotland, the American captain planned to seize the Earl of Selkirk...
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