USS Bonhomme Richard – FIRE! And her forerunners on this blog.

Not good. On 12 July there was a fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Some sailors have been hospitalized.

I’ve written about the Bonhomme Richard!    HERE  A predecessor.

The Bonhomme Richard was originally a “hulk” ship in which priests were imprisoned during the French Revolution, including the “Martyrs of Rochefort”.

I also wrote about Bonhomme Richard HERE.  It’s an old post from 2006 with formatting problems after we revamped the blog.  But it’s readable.  In 1779 John Paul Jones commanded the Bonhomme Richard, named after Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard”.  There was a famous battle with HMS Serapis, resulting in one of the most famous lines of naval warfare.

Pray for those injured today.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. HvonBlumenthal says:

    There is something about a fire at sea which freezes the blood. Im sure your reasers prayers are for all concerned. Mine certainly are.

    Regarding John Paul Jones, I cannot understand why Americans still insist that his engagement with Serapis off Flamborough Head, a very minor affair, was so unique. Under his command was a squadron consisting of a 42-gunner, 2 frigates, a brigantine and a schooner. Against this the British had a 44-gunner and a sloop. All in all the British were outgunned 2-1.

    The British ships were captured but the Bonnhomme Richard was sunk. A good outcome for the Americans but hardly a great one.

    The real significance was that it gave American propagandists an opportunity to convince the French to enter the war.

  2. monstrance says:

    Reminds me of the Battle of Lake Erie.
    The Brits were outgunned and half sick with dysentery.
    Out of it came the Oliver Hazard Perry cry – “Don’t Give Up The Ship “.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    HvonBlumenthal and monstrance: Fr. Z posts about a U.S. naval ship fire and asks for prayers. Thank you HvonBlumenthal.

    However, you two disparage the legacy of the U.S. Navy. Poorly done.

    One item to make the point crystal clear: The phrase “Don’t give up the ship” was used by Oliver Hazard Perry to commemorate his friend, James Lawrence, who was killed in action and uttered that phrase as his dying command.

    Toxic Leftism is ambient in the culture. It mocks and corrupts the historical record. No doubt you two are aware of current events. Avoid assisting the Enemy.

    One more point. In the 1950s the U.S. and French Navies evacuated a million Vietnamese from Communist North Vietnam. Most of the evacuees were Catholic. You’re welcome.

  4. HvonBlumenthal says:


    That’s the first time I have heard it suggested that the British/Loyalist cause in the American War of Independence was the leftist one!

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    HvonBlumenthal: No, it’s your use of the term “propagandists.” Furthermore, take a closer look at what happened on board the Bonhomme Richard.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    HvonBlumenthal: You are referred to this: “It mocks and corrupts the historical record.”

  7. HVon: I’m not in the mood – not one little bit – for anyone picking at the Navy or anything American at the moment. Not. One. Bit.

  8. Kerry says:

    HVon, what Fr. Zed said. This commenter’s father flew F6-F’s. His CVE took a kamikaze off Okinawa in 1945. Hanger decks blown into the air. Please stand down.
    Semper, nice shootin’!

  9. tho says:

    Oliver Hazard Perry said ” We have met the enemy and they are ours”. Captain Lawrence said ” Don’t give up the ship”. John Paul Jones said, “We have not yet begun to fight”. Get your quotes straight, with the internet it is easy. By the way, Admiral Dewey said, ” You may fire when ready Gridley”. Gridley was the Captain of the USS Olympia now moored in Philadelphia as a museum. Another thing the Father of the American Navy was born in Ireland (hurrah) and is buried in Philadelphia at the Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church, his name was John Barry. And I did all that from memory. (hurrah)

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: Thank you for this post and prayers.

    HvonBlumenthal: Given what is stored aboard warships your phrase “freezes the blood” is apt. Assisting matters is that the Bonhomme Richard is pierside rather than at sea.

    tho: Thank you for your comment. Several Navy folks wish to note that Oliver Hazard Perry used both quotes. (And several Air Force readers would kindly like to add that the French Air Force assisted in the evacuation from Communist North Vietnam.)

    Kerry: Thank you, and God bless your father.

  11. Sandy says:

    God bless them all and keep our military safe, as I pray every day. Now I add to my prayer, all law enforcement. I visited aboard the previous Bonny Dick (her nickname) at North Island (San Diego), waaay back. My father was CO of an aircraft carrier, and my husband landed many a plane aboard one. Thank you, Father, for your attention to our military.

  12. acardnal says:

    As of this hour, 57 injured.

    Semper, as always, your comments were on target. No

  13. acardnal says:

    *not sure where that “No” came from. Difficult typing on a phone.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Sandy: Thank you. acardnal: Thank you. I’m told that helicopters assisted with firefighting and two guided-missile destroyers shifted berths away from the Bonhomme Richard.

  15. monstrance says:

    Semper Gumby,
    Thank you for the correction.
    I can assure you that in no way were my comments related to the fire on the present day Bonny Dick.
    My Father served on the carrier USS Bon Homme Richard ( CVA-31 ) during the Korean War.
    The irony is that the dying words of Captain James Lawrence are associated with Perry’s victory on Lake Erie.

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    monstrance: Thank you. God bless you and your father.

Comments are closed.