International Interest in John Paul Jones

Hank Mustin

In the eighties, I was the Head of the Incidents at Sea interagency task force that met annually, on a home and home basis, with the Soviet Navy. When the Soviet VCNO arrived in Washington at the head of their delegation in 1988, he asked for a tour of the Naval Academy, and, in particular, of the JPJ crypt. During that tour, he said to me, through his interpreter, that, while John Paul Jones had been a Captain in the U.S. Navy, he had been a Vice Admiral in the Russian Navy. I replied, also through the interpreter, that I was aware of that, and also that I understood that Jones had provided many other services to Catherine the Great. The old grizzled Soviet Admiral, with ribbons going up over his shoulder, threw back his head and howled with laughter, saying, “Da, Da.” The tour went smoothly after that.