John Paul Jones started out in the West Indies trade as a merchant skipper. He then joined the Continental Navy, and quikly worked imself up to the rank of captian. He loved sailing the open sea, and there wasn't much he enjoyed more than it.
There were really only a couple of events that made John Paul Jones' name well known among the people of Europe. The first time his name came before the English public was when he and his crew raided Whitehaven Harbor, and burned a Britsh ship.
Jones' plan was to destroy commerce shpping. He wanted to destroy more shoips in one night than the whole Navy had taken in a year. as luck would have it, he had destroyed more ships in one night than the whole Navy had taken in a year. As luck would have it, he had a taitor on his ship who alarmed all of the townspeople of what was going on. Jones and his men only set fire to one ship before they had to escape. This really didn't hut the British much fiancially, but it caused quite a plunge in morale. It had been over a hundred years since somone had raided an English seaport, and where was the Royal Navy, who was supposed to keep these things from happening?
The other event was the Battle off Flambrough Head. A Baltic convoy escorted by two British ships was sailing past Flamborough Head, and since Jones had always wanted to break up a Baltic convly, that's exactly what he planned to do.
Jones had three warships under his command compared to the two British escorts. He soon realized after chasing the convoy, that he would have to sink the escorts ot get a crack at the convoy. when the battle started, bad communication left Jones' ship one-on-one with a superior waship, another ship fighting the other British escort, and the alst ship under Jones' command just sailing around.
It was quite a battle between the Bonhomme Richard (Jones) and the Serapis (Bitish). this was the battle where Jones said what he's always been remembered for saying: "I have not yet begun to fight." Jones had a rough time of it; one of the ships under his command, Alliance, was under the command of a basically insane captain, and when he wasn't sailing around watching the battle, he fired on the Richard more than he did on serapis!
But, in the end, after three and a half hours of fighting, Jones came out on top, mainly because of superior battle tactics. His ship was so badly damaged, it sunk soon after the battle, so he just took Serapis for his own.