High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! HMS Assistance was a 50-gun Portland-class fourth rate of the Royal Navy. She was launched during the American War of Independence and spent most of her career serving in American waters, particularly off Halifax and Newfoundland. Assistance was the flagship of several of the commanders of the station, returning to Britain on occasion to be repaired and refitted. She survived to see the start of the French Revolutionary Wars, serving briefly in the English Channel during a rare period on station in British waters, but was wrecked off Dunkirk in 1801.