Philip Van Horne Lansdale, born 15 February 1858 in Washington, D.C., graduated as Passed Midshipman from the Naval Academy 18 June 1879. Commissioned ensign 1 June 1881, he served on Asiatic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific stations. Promoted to lieutenant 15 May 1893, he became executive officer of Philadelphia upon her recommissioning at San Francisco 9 July 1898.
After visiting Honolulu for ceremonies which transferred the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, Philadelphia, flagship of Rear Adm. Albert Kautz, Commander, Pacific Station, arrived Apia, Samoa, 6 March 1899. An unstable political climate, created by rival native factions and spurred on by German intrigue, erupted into open hostility during the month. A combined American and British naval force sought to keep the peace, but insurgent natives attacked American and British consulates late in March.
In retaliation a British and American landing party, supported by friendly natives, set out from Apia 1 April on a reconnaissance mission to drive off the rebels under Chief Mataafa. With Lieutenant Lansdale in command of the Americans, the expeditionary force dispersed the natives. While returning to Apia, the force was ambushed and a brisk battle ensued.
While protecting the evacuation of a mortally wounded machinegunner, Lieutenant Lansdale was seriously wounded, his right leg shattered by an enemy bullet. Aided by two enlisted men, Ensign J. R. Monaghan carried him until he dropped from exhaustion. Despite Lansdale’s plea, “Monny, you leave me now, I cannot go any further,” Ensign Monaghan remained beside the fallen lieutenant. With only one rifle between them, they were soon overrun by pursuing natives; both brave officers died on the spot in heroic performance of their duty.
(DD-101: dp. 1,060; l. 314'5"; b. 31'9"; dr. 8'6"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 113; a. 4 4"; 2 1-pdrs., 12 21" tt., 1 dcp.; cl. Wickes)
The first Lansdale (DD-101) was laid down 20 April 1918 by Fore River Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass.; launched 21 July 1918; sponsored by Mrs. Ethel S. Lansdale, widow of Lieutenant Lansdale; and commissioned 26 October 1918 at Boston, Comdr. C. W. Margruder in command.
Assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Lansdale steamed to Norfolk 4 to 7 November and joined a European bound convoy as escort 12 November. Sailing via the Azores, she reached Gibraltar 26 November for patrol duty in the Mediterranean. Operating out of Gibraltar until January 1919, she made three voyages to Tangier, Morocco, and one to Algiers, Algeria. Steaming to Venice, 4 to 13 January, she joined the U.S. Naval Force operating the eastern Mediterranean. She performed dispatch duty in the Adriatic Sea, principally between Venice and the ports of Austria and Dalmatia. Departing Spalato, Dalmatia, 10 June, she steamed to Gibraltar and the Azores and reached New York 22 June.
During the next year Lansdale operated along the Atlantic coast with Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. Arriving Philadelphia 11 July 1920, she was converted to a light minelayer and reclassified DM-6. She steamed to Newport, R.I., 2 to 3 June 1921; joined the Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet 5 July at Gloucester, Mass.; and until late October practiced laying mines off the New England and Virginia coasts. After overhaul at Boston, she steamed to Guantanamo Bay 4 to 9 January 1922 for maneuvers, mining exercises, and war games in the West Indies with Mine Squadron 1. Departing Culebra Island 19 April, she arrived Philadelphia 25 April and decommissioned 25 June.
Lansdale recommissioned 1 May 1930 at Philadelphia, Comdr. Frank R. Berg in command. She joined Mine Squadron 1 at Yorktown 17 May; engaged in mining and tactical exercises along the eastern seaboard; then arrived New London, Conn., 30 September to serve as target ship for submarines. She departed 12 November; and, after visiting Boston, she arrived Philadelphia 22 December. Remaining there, Lansdale decommissioned 24 March 1931. On 28 December 1936 she was reduced to a hulk for disposal in accordance with the London Treaty for limitation and reduction of naval armaments. Her name was struck from the Naval Register 25 January 1937, and she was sold 16 March 1939 to Union Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, Md.