For the American sailors off Tripoli — five of them from Maryland — it was a suicide mission: Sail the small ship heavy with explosives in among the enemy fleet, set the blast to go off in 15 minutes, jump into lifeboats and get as far away as possible.
The crew of the Intrepid would never make it. The fireship ignited early, killing all 13 men aboard.
The bodies washed ashore, to be fed on by dogs and dragged through the streets of Tripoli. They eventually would be buried in a pair of sites.
More than two centuries later, an ad hoc group that includes history buffs, military veterans and descendants of the sailors is working to repatriate those remains for...