Don’t Give Up The Ship Day commemorates the famous words of Captain James Lawrence of the USS Chesapeake in the war of 1812. During one of the deadliest battles during the war, the USS Chesapeake met with the HMS Shannon of the Royal Navy just outside of Boston. Captain Lawrence stood his ground on the deck during the battle, in full uniform, and it was here that he gave his famous command, “Don’t give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks.” As the battle ensued, it became apparent that the USS Chesapeake was no match for the HMS Shannon, and the ship was lost. Captain Lawrence was wounded and captured by the British, and died three days later. Shortly after the USS Chesapeake's loss, the phrase became the unofficial motto of the US Navy!