Two-hundred forty-four years ago today, the Second Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to pass a resolution that would create the Continental Navy, authorizing the purchase of two vessels.
These early ships would hardly cause the mighty British navy to quake in their boots. One of them, the USS Andrew Doria, was a 75-foot merchant brig that had to undergo a number of modifications before it was battle-ready.
But the sailors who manned the Andrew Doria quickly showed that they could punch above their weight. On Feb. 17, 1776, Commodore Esek Hopkins took a landing party of 270 sailors and marines, who took Fort Nassau in the Bahamas and a large supply of gunpowder there, representing the first amphibious landing of the Marine Corps.
Fast forward to today, and the U.S. Navy certainly isn’t the underdog anymore. It has more than 400 ships, including some of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.
But it’s not all about the ships. After all, the largest aircraft carrier in the world is nothing more than flotsam without the sailors who man it.
The mission of the Navy is to “recruit, train, equip, and organize to deliver combat ready Naval forces to win conflicts and wars while maintaining security and deterrence through sustained forward presence.” The crew of the Andrew Doria understood that mission all those years ago, and sailors continue to live by that credo today.
To celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States Navy, we at AUSN proudly salute the 337,121 active duty sailors, 101,583 ready reserve sailors, and 279,471 civilian employees who make our Navy the greatest the world has ever seen. Thank you for your service, and here’s to another 244 years of ruling the seas.