USS Barry (DDG 52) Sailors traveled to Philadelphia Sept. 7, to pay tribute to their ship’s namesake, Commodore John Barry.
They visited the site of the Commodore Barry Bridge and held a reenlistment ceremony at historic Independence Square, in front of their namesake’s statue. They left United States flags at each location to be flown at the ceremony honoring the commodore’s death Sept. 13, 1803.
Traveling to the area during back to school week, they established ties with students, faculty and staff at the John Barry Elementary School, visited Sterling High School in Somerdale, N.J., to speak with JROTC students and Villanova University, where they addressed the NROTC.
John Barry is known as the “Father of the American Navy” and generally recognized as the finest Sailing man of his time.
He was born in Wexford, Ireland in 1745 and, at the outbreak of hostilities between England and the Colonies, offered his services to Congress. His ship, the Black Prince, was purchased by the government and named “Alfred.” It was on this ship that John Paul Jones, as a lieutenant, first hoisted the American (Grand Union) Flag. Upon reorganization of the Navy on June 5, 1794, Barry topped the list of captains. His commission was signed by Gen. George Washington, and dated Feb. 22, 1797. He died in his home near Philadelphia at the age of 53 and is buried in the city.