Joseph Israel

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Joseph Israel (about 1780 – 4 September 1804) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War.

Israel entered the Navy as Midshipman 15 January 1801. He served in Maryland during the Quasi-War with France and in Chesapeake, New York, and Constitution during operation in the Mediterranean against the Barbary pirates. Midshipman Israel was killed 4 September 1804 when ketch Intrepid exploded in the harbor of Tripoli during the night effort to destroy the enemy shipping led by Lieutenant Richard Somers.

A monument to the memory of Israel and his fellow officers and men stands on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Israel was reported to be of the Jewish faith, although "there was no evidence that Israel is a Jew or of Jewish ancestry." [1]

USS Israel (DD-98) was named in honor of him.


  1. ^ Jacob Rader Marcus United States Jewry, 1776-1985, page 103, Wayne State University Press, 1989

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.