John Hazelwood – Continental Navy Officer


John Hazelwood (1726 – March 1, 1800) was an officer in the Continental Navy.

Born in England, Hazelwood was appointed to superintend the building of fire rafts for the protection of Philadelphia against the British during the Revolutionary War.

A commissioned officer in the Pennsylvania Navy, Commodore Hazelwood commanded all units of the Pennsylvania and Continental navies participating in the defense of the Delaware River approaches to Philadelphia in 1777. His gunboats and galleys engaged British men-of-war on October 23, near river obstructions; and, after the British frigate Merlin and ship of the line Augusta grounded, their crews were forced to burn them. Later Commodore Hazelwood took command of Continental vessels in Delaware Bay.

In recognition of his services in the War for Independence, the Continental Congress voted him a handsome sword, now in the collection of the Naval Historical Foundation.

Commodore Hazelwood died in Philadelphia on March 1, 1800.

USS Hazelwood (DD-107) was named in his honor.