George W. DeLong, born 22 August 1844 in New York City, was appointed Midshipman in the Navy 1 October 1861. Selected to command the Arctic Expedition fitted out by James Gordon Bennett for the attempt to reach the North Pole, Lieutenant Commander DeLong sailed from San Francisco in Jeanette 8 July 1879. Jeanette became embedded in an ice pack from which she never escaped and on 23 March 1882 a rescue expedition discovered the bodies of DeLong's party and brought them back to the United States. TB-28 and DD-129 were named in his honor.
Weldon Fader DeLong, born 18 September 1916 in Baras Corner, Nova Scotia, Canada, enlisted in the Marine Corps 20 September 1940, and served continuously until the time of his death at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, 3 November 1942. Corporal DeLong was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his valor and aggressive leadership in the action during which he lost his life. DE-684 was named in his honor.
(TB-28: dp. 196; 1. 175'; b. 17'; dr. 5'11"; s. 26 k.; cpl. 29; a. 3 18" tt.)
The first DeLong (TB-28) was launched 23 November 1900 by George Lawley and Sons, South Boston, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. S. DeL. Mills, daughter of Lieutenant Commander DeLong; and commissioned 27 October 1902, Lieutenant J. F. Marshall in command.
Between 4 November 1902 and 2 July 1906, DeLong was assigned to the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla at Norfolk, Va., then was returned to full commission for torpedo practice and training along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Again out of commission between 7 August 1909 and 30 April 1910, this time at Boston, DeLong was in reserve at Charleston from 20 May 1910, going to sea occasionally to maintain her readiness for action. She lay in ordinary between 14 March 1914 and 7 April 1917, when upon the entry of the United States into World War I, she was recommissioned and fitted out as a minesweeper.
DeLong was based on Norfolk for minesweeping duty until 2 May 1918, when she sailed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, and patrol duty with the Submarine Chaser Flotilla. She also escorted seaplanes to sea for the Naval Aero Squadron based at Halifax, and from 1 August 1918 was known as Coast Torpedo Boat 14. She returned from Halifax to Boston 18 January 1919, and arrived at Philadelphia 4 February. There she was decommissioned 8 March 1919 and sold for scrapping 19 July 1920.