Somers Point Honors Historic Hero Richard Somers

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Richard Somers Day is Sept. 8. (Photo courtesy Suasion)

The City of Somers Point and the Somers Point Historical Society will sponsor the annual Richard Somers Day on Sunday, September 8 at 2 p.m. at the Richard Somers Memorial Park, 801 Shore Road.

Each year a memorial remembrance is held for local historic native Richard Somers and the crew from the Intrepid.

In case of rain, the memorial will be held in the council Chambers at Somers Point City Hall.

Richard Somers, born and raised in Somers Point, was a captain in the U.S. Navy.

While in command of the U.S. Navy ship, the Nautilus, Somers was fighting against the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean.

Under the command of Edward Preble, Captain Somers conceived a courageous plan. His plan was to fit up the ketch, Intrepid, as a fire ship and sail her into Tripoli Harbor and explode her amongst the enemy ships.

The Intrepid was fitted with 1500 pounds of gunpowder, a quantity of shells, shot, broken iron, and combustibles. Knowing this mission could mean death, all men volunteered under Captain Somers.

One the eve of Sept. 3, 1804, the Intrepid, entered Tripoli Harbor. A sudden explosion was seen by Preble’s fleet outside the harbor.

The Intrepid took fire sooner than intended, taking the lives of Captain Somers and all 12 of his crew members.

For more information on Richard Somers Day, visit somerspointhistory.org, richardsomers.org or call 609-927-2900. For more information on Somers Point, visit somerspointgov.org, visitsomerspoint.com or call 609-927-9088.