On March 14, 1776, that sea going Catholic son of Ireland John Barry, received his commission as a Captain in the Continental Navy from the Continental Congress. It was signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress. Barry wasted no time making his mark.
Barry was placed in command of the USS Lexington, 14 guns, on December 7, 1775. Captain Barry took the Lexington on its maiden voyage on March 26, 1776. On April 7, 1776, Barry had his initial victory of the war, taking H.M.S. sloop Edward after a short but fierce engagement. This was the first naval victory of the new Continental Navy and the first British warship captured by the Americans. Barry had begun his victorious military career and started to earn the proud title of Father of the American Navy.