Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Dolphin (PG-24) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Dolphin (PG-24) 

USS Dolphin (PG-24), a despatch boat, was launched 12 April 1884 by John Roach & Sons, Chester, Pa.; and commissioned 8 December 1885, Captain R. W. Meade in command.

The first of the vessels of the "New Navy" to be completed, USS Dolphin (PG-24) was assigned to the North Atlantic Station, cruising along the eastern seaboard until February 1886. She then sailed around South America on her way to the Pacific Station for duty. On 23 December she was reassigned to the Squadron of Evolution and sailed from New York 7 January 1891 for a Caribbean cruise, returning to Norfolk 7 April.

Out of commission from 1 May 1891 to 14 March 1892, USS Dolphin (PG-24) then resumed her cruising along the Atlantic coast, often carrying the Secretary of the Navy. She carried President W. McKinley and his party to New York for the ceremonies at Grant's Tomb 23 April 1897. USS Dolphin (PG-24) was placed out of commission at New York 23 November 1897. Dolphin was recommissioned 24 March 1898 just prior to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War and served on blockade duty off Havana, Cuba, during April and May.

USS Dolphin (PG-24) sailed from Norfolk 2 December 1902 to carry mail and dispatches to Culebra Island, P.R., then took the U.S. Minister to Venezuela to La Guaira, arriving January 1903. She continued to cruise in the West Indies until returning to Washington 19 April. From 1903 through 1905. She continued on primarily ceremonial duty, participating in the interment of John Paul Jones at the Naval Academy, and the departure ceremonies for the Great White Fleet, until 22 October 1908 when she became flagship of the Third Squadron, Atlantic Fleet.- She cruised in the West Indies on this assignment until 1917, assisting in the occupation of Santo Domingo from 12 to 22 May 1916.

Sailing from Washington, D.C., 2 April 1917 to take possession of the recently purchased Virgin Islands, USS Dolphin (PG-24) 4 days later received word of the declaration of war between the United States and Germany. Assigned as flagship for the American Patrol Detachment 17 September 1917, USS Dolphin (PG-24) was based at Key West and operated in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to protect merchant shipping until the end of the war. She remained in the Caribbean until her departure for New York on 25 June 1920.

After an overhaul at Boston she sailed 16 October 1920 as flagship of the Special Service Squadron and joined USS Des Moines (PG-29) to represent the United States at the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Straits of Magellan. Dolphin returned to Balboa and was based there for target practice, hydrographic experiments, and to obtain political information, visiting various neighboring countries to promote friendly relations. On 16 September 1921 she was at Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, to attend the anniversary of Guatemalan independence.

For a complete history of USS Dolphin (PG-24) please see its DANFS page.