No Navy man worth his salt would consider John Paul Jones anything but the greatest hero in history. But…

John Paul Jones’ real name was simply John Paul. In a letter to Benjamin Franklin he admitted he’d killed a sailor in the West Indies and changed his name to escape punishment. He chose the name “Jones” from a Willie Jones of North Carloina, whom he admired. ‘Nuff said.

He never was a naturalized citizen of the United States. At one time he was the captain of some pirate ships and just before he died was a commodore of Catherine the Great’s Russian navy.

But he did contribute immensely to the fortunes of the struggling young Republic, and that’s good enough for yours truly.

From the book… The Joy of Trivia by Bernie Smith (1976)

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