|The San Juan Nepomuceno, 2700 tons, was constructed
in the royal shipyard in Guarnizo (Santander) and launched in 1765.
During the same period, the San Pascual, the Asis, the San Lorenzo,
the Santo Domingo and the San Augustin were built as twin ships.
The San Juan Nepomuceno was a solidly built ship of proven seaworthy
It was outfitted with a total of 74 cannons: 24 24-pound cannons,
30 18-pound cannons, 8 12-pound cannons, 8 8-pound cannons and was
manned by: 8 Officers, 11 Midshipmen, 19 Leading seamen and 492
Able seamen. Its supply capacity was for 60 days victuals and 80
It rendered numerous important services to the Armada (fleet),
some of them in the Caribbean where it participated in several sieges
and was distinguished in 1779.
The battle of Trafalgar is the historical feat in which it participated
and of which we have the best account. In spite of being unmasted
by admiral Nelson's artillery on the 21st October 1805, it achieved
glory in this battle under the command of the famous Brigadier Don
Cosme Damian Churruca and constituted for the Spaniards a handsome
example of the heroism of their race and the bravery of their sailors.
The wounded Admiral Nelson continued to direct the battle, while
the Brigadier Churruca, whose leg had been torn off by a Howitzer,
the deck of his ship covered by the blood of his wounded and dead
seamen, continued to voice the command "fire". However,
unable to break the circle of fire formed by the six enemy ships,
which counted among others with the famous Defiance, Tonnant and
Dreadnought, the San Juan Nepomuceno yielded with over 400 dead
and injured on board. The English obtained the victory but paid
a high price in lives and material.