February 16, 1804
The captured frigate Philadelphia is burned in Tripoli Harbor by American forces.
On February 16th, 1804, during the Barbary Wars, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, supported by American volunteers, burned the captured U. S. frigate, Philadelphia, in order to prevent her from remaining in the hands of the Tripolitans. In June 1935, Proceedings published an article by Commander Arthur Bainbridge Hoff, USN (ret.), which described the circumstances surrounding the burning of the Philadelphia, and the connection of the event to the famous Naval leader, Edward Preble. The article focuses on Preble’s unique personality, and the character and actions which earned him fame.
In those brilliant early years of our young Navy, when the Barbary corsairs had been brought to terms, and when seamen were either battling the elements or battling the enemies of their country, no man’s name stood higher as a leader and commander than did that of Edward Preble. Read the rest of this entry »