Capture of HMS Fox
|Laid down||September 1777|
|In service||May 1778|
|Fate||Wrecked by the Great Hurricane of 1780 on 11 October 1780 in Kingstown Harbour, St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Class and type||Charmante class frigate|
|Tons burthen||540 tonnes|
|Length||44.2 m (145 ft)|
|Beam||11.2 m (37 ft)|
|Draught||5.4 m (18 ft)|
The Junon was a 32-gun Charmante class frigate of the French Navy
Junon took part in the Battle of Ushant under Admiral d'Orvilliers. She captured HMS Fox on 11 September 1778.
On 17 August 1779, under captain Charles de Bernard de Marigny and along with Gentille, she captured HMS Ardent. On 13 September, under lieutenant Kergariou Locmaria, she captured HMS Rover.
In October 1780, Junon sailed from Martinique to St. Vincent towing a schooner to deliver hospital supplies to the island, which had recently come under French control. Junon anchored beneath the cliffs in Kingstown Harbour and, due to a broken barometer, had no warning when the island was struck by a hurricane. The massive storm, known as the Great Hurricane of 1780, battered the frigate against the cliffs and caused her to sink on 11 October 1780, although her captain managed to lead the entire crew off the ship and up the cliffs in safety.
From December 1997 to January 1998 the Junon shipwreck was investigated by an archaeological team sponsored by the Institute of Maritime History and Florida State University and directed by David Johnson and Chuck Meide. The site was initially thought to be that of the British slave ship Africa , but after raising a cannon and finding it to be a French naval gun dated 1776, it was realized the ship was likely a late 18th-century French frigate. Confirmation that the wreck was that of the Junon came over twenty years later after the discovery of archival documents in France by archaeologist Jean-Sébastien Guibert of the University of the French Antilles. Guibert led a second archaeological expedition to the wreck of Junon in October 2021. The 2021 expedition consisted of a French team along with American archaeologist Chuck Meide from the original 1997-1998 investigation. Guibert plans to return to the site of the Junon to conduct additional excavation in 2023.
Sixteen ships and two shore establishments of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Fox, after the fox.
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Charles T. Meide, Jr., known as Chuck Meide, is an underwater and maritime archaeologist and currently the Director of LAMP, the research arm of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum located in St. Augustine, Florida. Meide, of Syrian descent on his father's side, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and raised in the nearby coastal town of Atlantic Beach. He earned BA and MA degrees in Anthropology with a focus in underwater archaeology in 1993 and 2001 from Florida State University, where he studied under George R. Fischer, and undertook Ph.D. studies in Historical Archaeology at the College of William and Mary starting the following year. Meide has participated in a wide array of shipwreck and maritime archaeological projects across the U.S., especially in Florida, and throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda and in Australia and Ireland. From 1995 to 1997 he participated in the search for, discovery, and total excavation of La Salle's shipwreck, La Belle , lost in 1686. From December 1997 to January 1998 he served as Co-Director of the Kingstown Harbour Shipwreck Project, an investigation sponsored by the Institute of Maritime History and Florida State University into the wreck of the French frigate Junon (1778) lost in 1780 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In 1999 he directed the Dog Island Shipwreck Survey, a comprehensive maritime survey of the waters around a barrier island off the coast of Franklin County, Florida, and between 2004 and 2006 he directed the Achill Island Maritime Archaeology Project off the coast of County Mayo, Ireland. Since taking over as Director of LAMP in 2006, he has directed the First Coast Maritime Archaeology Project, a state-funded research and educational program focusing on shipwrecks and other maritime archaeological resources in the offshore and inland waters of Northeast Florida. In 2009, during this project, Meide discovered the "Storm Wreck," a ship from the final fleet to evacuate British troops and Loyalist refugees from Charleston at the end of the Revolutionary War, which wrecked trying to enter St. Augustine in late December 1782. He led the archaeological excavation of this shipwreck site each summer from 2010 through 2015, overseeing the recovery of thousands of well-preserved artifacts.
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