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Whose birthday am I noting on tattoo Tuesday?

August 18, 2015

perry tattoo

Oliver Hazard Perry, the Hero of Lake Erie, was born August 23, 1785 in Rhode Island.  His family, on both sides,  included a long line of accomplished naval men.

During the War of 1812 against Britain, Perry supervised the building of a fleet at Erie, Pennsylvania, at the age of 27. He lead American forces in a decisive naval victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal and the Thanks of Congress. His leadership materially aided the successful outcomes of all nine Lake Erie military campaign victories, and the fleet victory was a turning point in the battle for the west in the War of 1812. He is remembered for the words on his battle flag, “Don’t Give Up the Ship” and his message to General William Henry Harrison which reads in part, “We have met the enemy and they are ours; …” (Wikipedia)

 

C-130H_Ohio_ANG_over_Perry_Monument_2008

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Monument at

Put-in-Bay, Ohio on South Bass Island.

Perry’s career began when he was 12 when he sailed to the West Indies with his father, who was a ship’s captain.  He was appointed a midshipman in the US Navy when he was 13 years old.  He first experienced combat at age 15 off the coast of Haiti.

Perry’s life was cut short at age 34 when he died on his birthday after contracting yellow fever while on a trip to South America.  In spite of that, Perry was a popular figure with many ships named in his honor, many memorials and monuments – particularly in Rhode Island and around Lake Erie – named for him, and many places across the country bearing his name.

Perry-Victory-paintingPerry Victory

Battle of Lake Erie

 

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