In what is truly a spectacular sight to behold, the American Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG-57) welcomed the French Concorde Class Frigate replica Hermione off the East Coast of the U.S. yesterday. The Hermione had just completed a cross Atlantic journey as part of her mission of goodwill and historical education.

This amazing encounter between old and new happened right in the vicinity of the Battle of Virginia Capes which occurred 234 years ago, an action that the original Hermione did not fight in, although 24 French ships of line did.

The original Hermione’s main claim to fame, beyond fighting valiantly in multiple battles, was that she transported French General and key supporter of American independence Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780. There, Lafayette met with his close friend General George Washington and formally announced that France would massively increase support for the United States which remained mired in an increasingly bloody Revolutionary War with British.

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This war pledge included much needed material, soldiers and ships. Thus, the Hermione is a gorgeous monument to the Franco-American bond that helped bring victory at the Battle of Yorktown and a symbol of a tight relationship that continues between the two countries to this very day.

The Hermione, which began construction in 1997, will visit Yorktown, Virginia this Friday and then will cruise up along the east coast, stopping at many cities along the way to promote the historical significance of the relationship between the French and the U.S. Check out the ship’s website for its schedule as well as how this amazing project came to be.

Now if only the USS Constitution was available to sail alongside her...

Photos via USN


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