Richard Dale, born 6 November 1756 in Norfolk, Va., was appointed a midshipman in the Continental Navy in 1776. Captured by the enemy in 1777 while serving in the Continental brig Lexington, he was imprisoned in Mill Prison, England, but escaped to France to join John Paul Jones. He was First Lieutenant in Bonhomme Richard when she captured Serapis in the celebrated engagement of 23 September 1779. During 1781 and 1782 he commanded Queen of France and made several captures. Commissioned a Captain in the United States Navy 4 June 1794, he commanded Ganges during the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1801, then commanded the Mediterranean Squadron in the operations against Tripoli in 1801. He resigned from the Navy 17 December 1802, and died at Philadelphia 26 February 1826.
(DD-4: dp. 420; 1. 250'; b. 23'7"; dr. 6'6"; s. 29 k.; cpl. 73; a. 2 3", 2 18" tt.; cl. Bainbridge)
The second Dale (DD-4) was launched 24 July 1900 by William R. Trigg Co., Richmond, Va.; sponsored by Miss M. H. Wilson; placed in reserve commission 24 October 1902, Lieutenant H. E. Yarnell in command; outfitted at Norfolk, Va.; and commissioned in full 13 February 1903, Lieutenant H. I. Cone in command.
Assigned to the North Atlantic Fleet, Dale cruised with the First Torpedo Flotilla on the Atlantic coast, taking part in a fleet search problem conducted off Maine, and passing before President Roosevelt in review off Oyster Bay 17 August 1903.
The First Torpedo Flotilla, convoyed by Buffalo (AD), cleared Norfolk 12 December 1903 and sailed to the Asiatic Station by way of the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Arriving at Cavite, Philippine Islands, 14 April 1904, Dale cruised in the islands and on the coast of China until placed out of commission in reserve at Cavite 5 December 1905. Recommissioned 10 July 1907 she remained on duty with the Asiatic Fleet, cruising to Japan and China, engaging in torpedo and battle practice and maneuvers with the flotilla, guarding and inspecting the target range at Cavite, and transporting mail and passengers.
After United States entered World War I, Dale patrolled the entrance to Manila Bay from 30 June to 1 August 1917, then sailed to join U.S. Patrol Squadrons based on Gibraltar, arriving 20 October 1917. She patrolled and escorted convoys in the eastern Mediterranean until the end of the war. Clearing Gibraltar 8 December 1918, Dale arrived at Charleston, S.C., 12 January 1919, was decommissioned at Philadelphia 9 July 1919 and sold 3 January 1920.