North Channel 24 April 1778
Where: 55.451 -7.051 North Channel
Maps: [map notes]
"North Channel Naval Duel"
he North Channel naval duel was a single-ship action between the United States Continental Navy sloop of war Ranger (Captain John Paul Jones) and the British Royal Navy sloop of war Drake (Captain George Burdon) on the evening of 24 April 1778. Fought in the North Channel, separating Ireland from Scotland, it was the first American defeat of a Royal Navy ship within British home waters, and also very nearly the only American victory over the Royal Navy in the Revolution achieved without an overwhelming superiority of force. The action was one of a series of actions by Jones that brought the American War of Independence to British waters.
"HMS Drake (1777)
HMS Drake was a 14-gun sloop-of-war of the British Royal Navy. Originally the merchantman Resolution, she was purchased in early 1777 and commissioned in April 1777, being fitted for RN service at Plymouth from 19 April to 24 May. She served in the American Revolutionary War, and on 24 April 1778, off Carrickfergus, Ireland, she fought the North Channel naval duel with the 18-gun sloop Ranger of the Continental Navy, commanded by Captain John Paul Jones. Five of Drake's crew, including her captain, George Burdon, were killed, and after an hour-long engagement, Drake surrendered to the Americans. Jones was able to evade capture and deliver Drake to Brest, France as his prize on 8 May 1778. This was the first, and most decisive, American victory over any Royal Navy vessel in British waters.