When one thinks of famous American warships and their captains in the War of 1812, one recalls the frigate Constitution and Isaac Hull, the frigate United States and Stephen Decatur, the brig Niagara and Oliver Hazard Perry, or the brig Saratoga and Thomas Macdonough. But no vessel and no captain did more damage gun-for-gun and ton-for-ton to the Royal Navy and British merchant shipping than the U.S. sloop-of-war Wasp and Johnston Blakeley.
Yet they are among the most forgotten figures in our second war with Great Britain. Blakeley, his crew, and the Wasp, lost at sea and largely lost to memory, lie in Lord Byron’s “deep and dark blue Ocean . . . without a grave, unknell’d, unconffin’d, and unknown.”
The Challenges of Secretary Jones