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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Father of the U.S. Navy

Related Resource: Navy Birthday Information

The importance of the sea as a highway, a source of food or a battlefield, if necessary, was well understood by the American colonists.  When the Revolution came, it was a natural impulse, therefore, that many men in numerous locations would play prominent roles in the founding of a national navy.  Thus, the Navy recognizes no one individual as "Father" to the exclusion of all others.  As it was the Continental Congress, convoked in Philadelphia, that created the Navy in their resolution of 13 October 1775, the members of Congress must collectively receive credit for the creation of the Continental Navy, the forerunner of the United States Navy.  The various attempts to credit individual naval officers with this act are misguided, for those officers received their commissions from the very body that created the Navy in the first place.  None of this, of course, detracts from the great contributions to our struggle at sea for independence made by General Washington, John Barry, John Paul Jones, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others.


4 December 2001