In March 1780, the Marquis de Lafayette sailed from France to Boston with important news: King Louis XVI had agreed to increase France’s support of the colonists in their war for independence from Britain by dispatching a large force led by the Comte de Rochambeau. Lafayette, who had served under his friend General George Washington earlier in the conflict, made the transatlantic crossing in the French frigate Hermione, which was henceforth seen as a symbol of freedom and Franco-American friendship.
The Hermione was a key player in the Revolutionary War; perhaps her most important contribution was to help with the blockade of the Chesapeake Bay in 1781 that led to the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia. But the Concorde-class light frigate eventually met her demise while engaged in yet another war against the British. In 1793 the Hermione ran aground off Brittany and was destroyed by heavy seas.