US Navy celebrates 241st birthday

- The world's most powerful naval force -- the United States Navy -- was born from very humble beginnings. Oct. 13 is the Navy's 241st birthday, and it's a chance for all Americans to pay tribute to a hardworking branch of America's military that is always ready to answer the call of duty.

The U.S. Navy traces its roots back to the Revolutionary War, when privateers were hired by the colonies to attack British commerce in the early days of growing conflict with England. On Oct. 13, 1775, the Continental Congress established an official naval force, hoping a small fleet of boats would be able to offset the seemingly intractable sea power of the British.

The early Navy was not formed to wrest control of the seas from Britain, but instead to wage tactical raids against the transports that supplied British forces in North America. The Continental Congress subsequently purchased, converted, and built a fleet of small ships that included brigs, sloops, and schooners.

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