"DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP"
By Commander Thomas Drayton Parker, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Two facts about the navy we have all known from infancy: Perry used fewer words per unit captured than any man since Caesar; and Lawrence said, "Don't give up the ship!"
Luck plays its part in the Hall of Fame. Lawrence, like Perry, was built on heroic lines; but 37 years before he lost his life and ship, impetuously fighting when unprepared, another American lost his life, saved his ship, and uttered almost identical words—words that, in his case, have been forgotten. This earlier, uncouth hero is unknown to the vast majority of Americans. Of the early Revolutionary period, he was not a regular naval officer; he lacked the training and the fine presence of a Lawrence or a Decatur; he swore horribly—and with it all he "did his bit" in a very heroic way.