Joseph Israel (1777 - 1804)

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Death: Died
Cause of death: died in service as a Midshipman in the USN
Managed by: Marie-Armide Longer Ellis
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Israel

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."

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

The Tripoli Monument, the oldest military monument in the U.S., honors the heroes of the First Barbary War, including Joseph Israel. Others honored are : Master Commandant Richard Somers, Lieutenant James Caldwell, James Decatur (brother of Stephen Decatur), Henry Wadsworth and John Dorsey. Originally known as the Naval Monument, it was carved of Carrara marble in Italy in 1806 and brought to the U.S. as ballast on board the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). From its original location in the Washington Navy Yard, it was moved to the west terrace of the national Capitol and finally, in 1860, to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Joseph Israel's Timeline

September 4, 1804
Age 27