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First Name: Pierre

Last Name: Landais

Birthplace: Saint-Malo, FRA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 1731

Date of Death: 17 September 1820

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
Pierre Landais

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Pierre Landais
Captain, U.S. Navy

Pierre Landais was born in 1731 at Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, France.

He joined France's Navy in 1748 and saw combat in the Seven Years' War. In 1777 he offered to aid the U.S. during the Revolution and commanded the USS Alliance, one of the U.S. Navy's first warships. In 1779 he sailed to France to transport Marquis de Lafayette to the U.S. Shortly afterwards, Landais put into port claiming he had put down a mutiny. Convinced of his instability, Benjamin Franklin, America's envoy in France, attempted to remove him, writing "if I had 20 ships of war at my disposition, I should not give one of them to Captain Landais," but he remained in command.

That October, believing that USS Alliance was part of his squadron, John Paul Jones led USS Bonhomme Richard against the British ship Serapis. Jones won, and alleged that Landais kept Alliance out of the fight, intending to sink Serapis himself and claim the glory after Jones' ship was destroyed, and that Landais had fired at Bonhomme Richard on purpose. Landais claimed he was not under Jones' command and not obligated to aid him. Despite renewed calls for his dismissal, Landais retained command, but in 1781 his crew mutinied and he was discharged. He then resumed his career in France, becoming a Rear Admiral in 1793. After leaving the French Navy, he returned to the U.S., living in retirement in Brooklyn.

Death and Burial

In 1818 Landais became ill, chose a grave at St. Patrick's, and ordered a tombstone. He was not heard of again, so the marker was engraved to indicate that he had disappeared in June 1818. In fact, he lived for two more years and died at Bellevue Hospital on 17 September 1820 in New York, NY. Landais was buried at Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral Churchyard in Manhattan, NY, but his stone's inscription was never changed.

Honoree ID: 2728   Created by: MHOH




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