Stephen Decatur's Disguise
Burnous 2.jpg

Origin

Stephen Decatur

Type

Sailor Clothing

Effects

Ship Infiltration

Downsides

Ship Arson

Activation

Wearing

Section

Out and About List

[Source]


Origin[edit | edit source]

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) was a United States naval officer and commodore who fought under several presidents and in several naval battles across three conflicts. Among his best known accomplishment was what famed British Admiral Horatio Nelson called the “most daring act of the age”, which occurred during the First Barbary War.

In October 1803, the U.S. frigate ‘’Philadelphia’’ ran aground near Tripoli and was captured by Tripolitan gunboats. The Americans feared that the well-constructed warship would be both a formidable addition to the Tripolitan navy and an innovative model for building future Tripolitan frigates. Hoping to prevent the Barbary pirates from gaining this military advantage, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a daring expedition into Tripoli harbor to destroy the captured American vessel on February 16, 1804. After disguising himself and his men as Maltese sailors, Decatur’s force of 74 men, which included nine U.S. Marines, sailed into Tripoli harbor on a small two-mast ship.

The Americans approached the USS Philadelphia without drawing fire from the Tripoli shore guns, boarded the ship, and attacked its Tripolitan crew, capturing or killing all but two. After setting fire to the frigate, Decatur and his men escaped without the loss of a single American. The Philadelphia subsequently exploded when its gunpowder reserve was lit by the spreading fire.

Effects[edit | edit source]

The disguise allows the wearer to enter any ship without drawing attention to themselves. If the user boards a ship which cannot sail, they will set fire to the ship.

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