Richard Dale -- born on 6 November 1756 in Portsmouth parish in Norfolk County, Va., and
the eldest son of Winfield and Ann [Sutherland] Dale -- he signed on in 1768 with a merchant vessel owned by an uncle that took him to Liverpool, England. Upon his return to Virginia, Dale became apprenticed to a ship owner, for whom he made several journeys to the West Indies. Within five years, he achieved the rank of chief mate on a brig, and remained in the merchant service until spring 1776. After departing the merchant, he signed on as a lieutenant in the navy of the colony of Virginia. His tenure proved brief, for he was captured shortly thereafter by a tender of the frigate HMS Liverpool.
As he knew many of the ship’s crew from his time as a merchant sailor, they persuaded Dale to sign up for the British cause. He served Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, and while fighting for the British, Dale received his first battle wounds when he was caught in a confrontation with American pilot boats. During his convalescence in Norfolk, he determined that he would return to the patriot cause at his first opportunity. En route to Jamaica, the British vessel upon which Dale traveled was captured by Capt. John Barry in Lexington. Dale volunteered to serve on the American ship, and entered their service with the rank of midshipman.
He continued on in Lexington after Barry was replaced as captain by William Hallock, who promoted Dale to master’s mate. Unfortunately, the ship was captured by the British frigate HMS Pearl and Dale was among the officers taken onto Pearl as prisoners. In January 1777, Dale was released in a prisoner exchange and returned to Lexington, now under Capt. Henry Johnston. Lexington joined a squadron that caused some destruction on the coast of Ireland, which compelled the British to chase and, eventually, capture the brig and its crew. They were taken to Plymouth, England and the crew confined in Mill Prison in September 1777.
Charged with high treason against the Crown, Johnston, Dale, and the rest of the crew received harsh treatment. The American sailors did not intend to wait out the remainder of the war in prison and tunneled under the wall to make their escape. Dale and a colleague were re-captured as they attempted to board a ship from London to Dunkerque [Dunkirk], France, and were returned to Mill Prison. As punishment for their escape attempt, both men received a sentence of forty days of solitude. After over a year at Mill Prison, Dale finally managed to escape in February 1779, boldly walking out of the prison gates wearing a British officer’s uniform. Obtaining the necessary papers to leave England, he made his escape to L’Orient, France.
At L’Orient, Dale signed on as Master’s Mate with Capt. John Paul Jones on board Bonhomme Richard and received promotion to first lieutenant in short order. The ship cruised along the Irish coast, bringing the war to the British Isles. Capturing or destroying many vessels, Bonhomme Richard contributed to the disruption of British trade. On 23 September 1779, Jones met HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head, England. Dale commanded the forward guns in the close fighting of the battle. After Capt. Richard Pearson, RN, struck his colors, Dale, as second in command, was the first American officer to board Serapis. He then arranged for Pearson to meet with Jones to arrange the ship’s surrender. Once his duties had been fulfilled, Dale realized that a large splinter had caused a serious injury to his foot and ankle. With the damage to Bonhomme Richard irreparable, the Americans boarded Serapis and departed the scene as the former slipped below the waves.
Although he required some time to convalesce, Dale remained as Jones’ first lieutenant for two more years, first on Alliance, then on board Ariel. When Ariel arrived at Philadelphia, Pa., on the 14 April 1781, it marked Dale’s first return to America in more than four years. His rank of first lieutenant, bestowed by Jones, was recognized only by the French government. As such, the Continental Congress officially recognized Dale’s rank and made him a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy in acknowledgement of his efforts in the cause of independence.
When Congress appointed Jones as commander of the 74-gun ship-of-the line America, then under construction, Jones asked Dale to remain in his service. He declined Jones’ offer, concerned that the amount of time of the ship’s construction would keep him away from sea too long. Instead, Dale signed on as lieutenant for Capt. James Nicholson, commanding officer of Trumbull. Almost immediately after her departure from Philadelphia, Trumbull was confronted by a British frigate during a severe storm. Dale was wounded, captured in the ensuing fight, and taken to New York, N.Y., again a prisoner of war. This time, however, his imprisonment proved comparatively short, as Continental agents negotiated his release within two months. Freed, he signed on as the first officer on the American privateer Queen of France, When Dale later received command of the ship, he was able to use it to advantage and captured a number of enemy vessels. Dale returned to Philadelphia in February 1783. When the war officially ended in September, the Continental Navy was disbanded, ending Dale’s commission.
After the war Dale became involved in the China Trade, both as an investor and as a seaman. He became a successful merchant captain with commercial ventures between the United States and the Far East. During a time at Philadelphia, Dale met John Barry’s wife’s cousin, Dorethea Crathorne. They wed on 15 September 1791, at Christ Church in Philadelphia, a union that would produce eight children.
Congress established the United States Navy in 1794. Secretary of War Henry Knox selected six men, including Dale, to become the service’s first commanders. He accepted the appointment and traveled to Norfolk for his first assignment as supervisor of the construction of the frigate Chesapeake. The signing of a peace treaty with Algiers, however, halted the warship’s construction.
Dale requested and received a temporary furlough from the Navy and resumed business in the China trade. He was called back into the Navy in 1796 because of tensions that had developed between the United States and France, in what was known as the Quasi-War. As captain of the armed merchantman Ganges, which had been hastily equipped for military service, Dale gained the distinction of being the first man to command a ship at sea on behalf of the United States Navy. Ganges protected the American coastline during the conflict and did not see any fighting.
Dale requested a second furlough after hostilities with France concluded in 1800. He and some of the other five naval leaders became engaged in a dispute over their proper ranks. While government officials considered the matter, Dale resumed the Far East trade. Upon his return to Philadelphia, the issue had been settled to his satisfaction and Dale accepted new orders. He was to command a small fleet assigned to protect American merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea. During the First Barbary War [10 May 1801–10 June 1805], now Commodore Dale, sailed in the flagship President with Capt. James Barron and a fleet of four other ships. President Thomas Jefferson dispatched them to blockade Tripoli [Libya], where government-sanctioned pirates seized European and American merchant ships and enslaved their crews. The United States government reluctantly paid tribute to the Barbary States of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers to ensure the protection of American interests. Regardless, the Barbary pirates continued to seize American property and sailors. During 1801-1802, American ships remained unthreatened while Dale and his fleet regulated these waters. Dale maintained the blockade until a lack of provisions and illness among his crews compelled him to return to Norfolk. Dale received new orders to return to the Mediterranean after his return, but was dissatisfied with the conditions of his assignment, and resigned his commission when he discovered that there would be no captain on his flagship. He considered it a dishonor for him to assume the responsibilities of a captain while serving as a commodore. He returned to Philadelphia as a civilian and lived the remainder of his life with his wife and family.
Upon his return, he changed the focus of his career and became a director of the Insurance Company of North America. Six months later, he shifted allegiance to the Union Insurance Company, and remained there as one of its directors for over twenty years. He served as its president from September 1824 to July 1825. Dale died in Philadelphia on 26 February 1826, at age 69. Originally laid to rest in the Christ Church Burial Ground, and followed by Dorethea in death four years later, they were both reinterred in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1888.
(Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 4: displacement 420; 1ength 250'; beam 23'7"; draft 6'6"; speed 29 knots; complement 73; armament 2 3-inch, 2 18-inch torpedo tubes; class Bainbridge)
The second Dale (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 4) was laid down on 12 June 1899 at Richmond, Va., by William R. Trigg Co.; launched on 24 July 1900; sponsored by Miss M. H. Wilson; placed in reserve commission at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., on 24 October 1902, Lt. Harry E. Yarnell in command; outfitted at Norfolk; and commissioned at Norfolk in full on 13 February 1903, Lt. Hutchinson I. Cone in command.
Initially assigned to the First Torpedo Flotilla, North Atlantic Fleet, Dale spent the first few months of her career in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and off the Virginia capes conducting trials and training. Visiting the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. on 8 June 1903, she remained there until 14 June. During this time she was assigned to the newly-created Coast Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet. Steaming to Boston, Mass. via Newport News, Va. (18-20 June), arriving on 21 June. Going to sea on 24 June, she conducted training off New England and in Long Island Sound and arrived at New London, Conn., on 30 June. She remained in port there until 10 July, when she got underway for Nahant, Mass. (11-13 July) and Frenchman’s Bay, Maine. From whence she operated conducting training and participated in a fleet search problem (16 July-12 August). She then shifted to Oyster Bay, Long Island, N.Y., to participate in a Presidential review for President Theodore Roosevelt (15-17 August). After the review on 17 August, she cleared Long Island Sound that same day and steamed for Norfolk, reaching on the 19th. While at Norfolk, she and her fellow members of the First Torpedo Flotilla were fitted out for distant service. All were detached from the Coast Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet on 26 September. Getting underway again on 12 November, the destroyer operated from Hampton Roads and conducted exercises in the waters off the Virginia capes into December. On the 12th, she departed Hampton Roads as part of the First Torpedo Flotilla [Bainbridge (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 1); Barry (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 2); Chauncey (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 3); Dale; Decatur (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 5)] convoyed by Baltimore (Cruiser No. 3). Bound for service with the Asiatic Squadron, they initially steamed southward to Port Royal, S.C. (14-16 December), then on to Key West, Fla. (18-23 December). While at Key West, the auxiliary cruiser Buffalo relieved Baltimore as the flotilla’s escort for the remainder of the journey to the Far East. The force spent Christmas Day at sea and arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico (P.R.) on 29 December and spent the New Year’s holidays in port there.
Resuming their eastward passage across the Atlantic on 6 January 1904, the flotilla reached Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, on 18 January. Clearing the island on 24 January, the ships proceeded to Gibraltar (27-31 January); Algiers, French Algeria (1-7 February); and Valetta, Malta (9-21 February). The flotilla and Buffalo had to lay over for twelve days while Barry went into dry dock to have her propellers repaired after they had been damaged while mooring. With the repairs completed they continued on to Port Said, Egypt (25-26 February), transited the Suez Canal to Suez, Egypt (28-29 February) before steaming down the Red Sea to Aden (4-9 March). Steaming out of Aden on the 9th, the flotilla crossed the Arabian Sea to Bombay [Mumbai], India (15-23 March), then proceeded to the British possessions at Colombo, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] (26-27 March) and Singapore (3-9 April) before steaming through the South China Sea to her new station in the Philippine Islands (P.I.). The flotilla and its escort stood in to the Navy Yard at Cavite, P.I., on 14 April. Upon their arrival, the ships were assigned to the Torpedo Flotilla, Battleship Squadron, Asiatic Fleet.
Dale’s first assignment underway from her new duty station saw her depart Cavite on 26 May 1904. Bound for the British Crown Colony at Hong Kong, she arrived on 28 May. She remained there until 10 July, when she sortied to steam in Chinese waters. She arrived at Woosung [Wusong], China on 15 July and remained there until 4 October. On that day she got underway and steamed to Hong Kong, where she remained until 26 October, when she cleared for a return to the Philippines, reaching Cavite on 28 October. She remained in port through the end of the year and did not get underway again for five months.
Dale stood out from Cavite on 17 March 1905 and steamed to Hong Kong (21 March-12 April) before making her return on 14 April. Five days later [19 April], she was underway, shuttling to Palawan Island, P.I. in the western Philippines before returning to Cavite. She remained at Cavite until 1 July, when she got underway bound for Shanghai. Arriving on 6 July, she remained until the 14th, when she sortied to steam along the Chinese coast calling at Chefoo [Yantai] (13 July); Weihaiwei [Weihai] (10 August); and Tsingtao [Qingdao] (15 August), before returning to Chefoo (19 August-9 September). Getting underway again she shuttled to Taku [Tanggu] (10 September) before returning to Chefoo (18-27 September). After visiting Shanghai (30 September), she made her return to Cavite on 10 October. While in port there, Dale was placed in reserve on 5 December.
Recommissioned on 10 July 1907, Ens. Robert W. Kessler in command, Dale shifted to Olongapo on 11 January 1908, then returned to Cavite on 16 March. Getting underway on 6 May, she shuttled to Hong Kong and made her return to Cavite on 16 May. Shifting back to Olongapo, Dale docked at the Navy Yard there on 8 July and remained there until 2 October, when she shifted back to Cavite. She returned to Olongapo on 1 November. She got underway again on 22 December when after touching at Cavite; she steamed to Zamboanga (24-26 December) and Parang (26-30 December) in the Philippine archipelago, before making her return to Cavite on 3 January 1909. She then docked at Olongapo on 2 February and underwent maintenance until 13 February.
Resuming operations underway on 16 May 1909, Dale steamed from Cavite bound for Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan. Arriving on 21 May, she remained until 26 May, then proceeded to Yokohama, Honshu, Japan (29 May-15 June). Returning to Nagasaki (19-27 June), she then transited the East China Sea to Shanghai. Steaming up the Yangtze, she arrived off the Bund on 30 June. On 8 July, she went to sea and steamed in Chinese waters to Siakwan [Siachwan Tao] (10-12 July) and Woosung [Wusong] (12 July), before clearing Shanghai on 19 July and returning to Cavite on 23 July. Docking at Olongapo, she later undocked on 14 September. She remained in the waters of Manila Bay through the first half of 1910. During this time she was assigned to the First Torpedo Division, Asiatic Torpedo Fleet, on 30 December.
Dale got underway again on 25 July 1910. Bound for Hong Kong, she arrived there on the 27th, then sailed on 31 July. Making her way to Shanghai (3-6 August), she then proceeded to Tsingtao (7-15 August). Clearing that German possession, she steamed to the Land of the Rising Sun, making her return to Nagasaki on 16 August. After four days, she shifted to Yokohama (22 August-1 September) and Kobe (2-6 September), before returning to China and mooring at Shanghai on 10 September. After a week off the International Settlement, Dale was again underway on 17 September. Having visited Hong Kong (20-30 September), she steamed back into Manila Bay on 5 October and docked on 14 December, clearing on the 17th.
New Year’s Day 1911 found Dale at Cavite. She would remain there through the winter and dock for maintenance (16 April-5 May). After undocking she remained in Manila Bay until 18 July, when she got underway for a return to Shanghai (22 July-15 August). Clearing the Yangtze, she steamed to Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan (21-27 August), then making her way south along Japan’s eastern coast, the destroyer visited Yokohama (29 August-14 September), then continued on to Nagasaki, (17-25 September). Leaving Japan, she crossed back to China and stood in to Shanghai on 26 September. After remaining for a month off the Bund, Dale got underway and proceeded to Sinkwan (28 October-6 November), Wuhan (17 November), and Chinkiang [Zhenjiang] (8 December) before returning to Shanghai on 23 December. She would remain off the International Settlement through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Dale stood out from Shanghai on 11 January 1912 and made her return to the Philippines, mooring at Olongapo on 14 January. She remained there in port until docking on 14 May. After undocking, she continued to remain in Subic Bay into the spring of 1913. The destroyer got underway clearing Olongapo on 24 March 1913, bound for the Philippine island of Iloilo. Reaching the next day, she remained until 31 March, then returned to Cavite on 1 April. She then docked at Olongapo on 5 May and undocking on the 17th.
Dale remained in port well into 1914. Finally clearing Olongapo on 14 June 1914, she set a course for a return to China, making landfall at Amoy [Xiamen] on 17 June. After a two-day port visit, she steamed to Shanghai, arriving on 22 June. Remaining on Man-of-War Row off the International Settlement until 5 July, Dale raised steam and got underway for Chefoo (8 July-5 August) before steaming to Shanghai via Nagasaki (7 August) and arriving off the Bund on the 9th. She remained there until 17 August, then cruised Chinese waters, calling at Amoy on 8 September, before steaming to Olongapo where she arrived on 10 September. The destroyer then spent the succeeding weeks cruising the archipelago calling at various Philippine islands: Zamboanga (28 September-2 October); Jolo (2-5 October); Iloilo (7-13 October); and Cebu (14-18 October before making her return to Manila, where she remained for the remainder of the year.
Dale stood in Manila Bay for the first half of 1915.
Dale got underway to cruise Philippine waters in July visiting Zamboanga (18-26 July 1915) and Jolo (26 July-11 August) before steaming to Makassar, Netherlands East Indies [Indonesia] (13 August). Making her return to the Philippines and cruising those waters, she touched at Jolo (24 August); Zamboanga (2 September); Camp Overton, Mindanao; and Cebu (27 September-4 October) before standing back in to Manila on 9 October. Getting underway on 5 November, she steamed back to China, raising Amoy (8-10 November), before shifting to Shanghai (16 November-12 December). She then made her return to Manila on 17 December and remained in port until early January 1916. Getting underway with Decatur, they made a tour of the southern islands of the Philippines calling at Zamboanga; Jolo; Bongao, Tawi Tawi; Parang, Mindanao; and Isabella, Basilan before returning to Manila on 21 February. She cleared Cavite on 4 August 1916 and conducted a similar cruise of the Philippine waters over the following two months, making her return to Olongapo on 28 October. She would remain in port through the end of the year and into 1917. When underway she conducted patrols and tactical exercises in the archipelago’s waters.
The U.S. declaration of war on Germany on 6 April 1917 found her undergoing repairs at the Cavite Navy Yard. After undocking on 30 June, Dale patrolled the entrance to Manila Bay and made preparations for service in the war zone. On 1 August, Dale cleared the Philippines in company with Bainbridge, Barry, Chauncey, and Decatur. Ordered to be based from the British colony of Gibraltar (Base No. 9), the force largely proceeded to re-trace the route taken to the Philippines in 1903-1904. Bound for Gibraltar via Kudat, British North Borneo [Brunei], Singapore,(where they fell in with Caesar (Collier No. 16) and the former-German merchantman, turned Asiatic Torpedo Flotilla flagship, Camilla Rickmers [later Ticonderoga (Id. No. 1958)] (9-14 August) Colombo (23-28 August), Bombay (1-6 September), Aden (14-19 September), the Suez Canal, and Malta (6-7 October). Camilla Rickmers’ speed slowed the destroyers’ transit to the Atlantic. They then convoyed Camilla Rickmers to Naples, Italy (7-15 October). The destroyers finally stood in to Gibraltar on 20 October, after which Vice Adm. William S. Sims, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, commended them upon their successful passage from Cavite to Gibraltar on 23 October. The destroyer had B.A. Type D depth charges and the discharging chutes for same (20-28 October). Dale departed the base on 29 October in company with Decatur and HMS Northesk to conduct a patrol, she returned the next morning without having made a contact with an enemy submarine.
Now assigned to U.S. Patrol Squadrons based on Gibraltar, Dale escorted convoys out from and in to Gibraltar in the waters west of the British colony and also conducted anti-submarine patrols in the western Mediterranean. Her first convoy escort was conducted in company with Bainbridge on 4 November 1917. Bound for Oran, Morocco, both destroyers escorted the convoy and returned to base on the 7th, without incident. On 8 November, she steamed westward with Bainbridge to meet the inbound convoy OE 3 and convoy it in to Europa Point, Gibraltar, where they were relieved by British destroyers who convoyed the troop-carrying ships to Malta. After the tactical handoff, the U.S. destroyers returned to Base No. 9 on 9 November. She left Gibraltar in company with Bainbridge and HMS Wisteria on 11 November and convoyed 11 ships to Oran. They arrived off Oran on 13 November after making the transit to Oran without incident, the convoy was met by the Coast Guard cutter Yamacraw and they returned to Gibraltar without incident. She then went into the yard at Gibraltar for engine repairs (14-27 November). On the 27th, she served as an escort for a 19-ship convoy outbound from Gibraltar to England, after parting with this convoy, she and the other escorts rendezvoused with an inbound convoy and conveyed them toward Gibraltar. After rendezvousing with a force of British destroyers, Dale parted company with the convoy and returned to Gibraltar on 30 November, while the convoy proceeded onward under British destroyer escort.
Dale cleared Gibraltar on 2 December 1917 in company with HMS Coreopsis, HMS Rule, and HMS Royal Scot escorting a convoy of ten ships through the danger zone. Having parted with that convoy they rendezvoused with a fourteen ship convoy escorted by the Coast Guard cutters Manning and Ossipee, based on Gibraltar, and escorted the convoy in to Gibraltar without incident on 5 December. The destroyer cleared Gibraltar on 13 December with orders to patrol between Cape Palos and Cape San Antonio. While underway, she experienced heavy weather and made her return to Gibraltar on the 17th, then entered the yard the next day and remained there through the end of the year.
Dale’s refit continued until 24 January 1918. Upon clearing the yard, she escorted a convoy out of Gibraltar westward in company with HMS Coreopsis, HMS Laggan, HMS Hibiscus, and HMS Marshfort to escort a 17-ship convoy through the danger zone. They were met en route by Chester (Scout Cruiser No. 1) on 25 January. Leaving this convoy they rendezvoused with a 12-ship inbound convoy escorted by the Coast Guard cutter Algonquin, based from Gibraltar. They all arrived without incident at Gibraltar on 28 January. The destroyer left Gibraltar with HMS Hibiscus, HMS Laggan, and HMS Dianthus to escort 17 ships through the danger zone. While en route, they rendezvoused with Birmingham (Scout Cruiser No. 2) on 2 February. Having taken the convoy to its release point they returned to Gibraltar on 4 February without meeting their incoming convoy which had been delayed by heavy weather. Dale then sortied from Gibraltar two days later with HMS Parthian to escort the French troopship Chaouia to Marseilles, France. At 3:00 a.m., the transport broke down and the escorts circled around her to provide a screen. About 2:00 p.m., Parthian took Chaouia under tow and steamed for Algiers, reaching at 4:00 a.m. on 9 February. Given orders to escort ships from Oran to Gibraltar that same day, she stood out beyond the breakwater, when the vessels to be escorted failed to arrive; Dale received orders to proceed directly to Gibraltar, where she reached on 11 February. The next day she was underway again in company with HMS Cowslip, HMS Aston, and HMS Underwing to escort 19 ships through the danger zone. While underway she received orders to stand by the British ship Wyvisbrook that had collided with a Brazilian ship not in the convoy. She was subsequently ordered to rejoin the convoy which she did on the 15th. The next day, the destroyer received orders to proceed to the location of an SOS from the British ship Mountby torpedoed by UC-49 (Oberleutnant zur See Hans Kükenthal commanding). Leaving the convoy, she proceeded at her best speed. When the destroyer arrived, Mountby was not found and was believed sunk. Though she conducted a search, Dale found neither flotsam nor survivors from a sunken vessel nor the presence of a U-boat. She then received orders on 17 February to return to Gibraltar, where she reached on 18 February and took on coal. On 25 February, she sortied with Bainbridge, Barry, and HMS Northesk. While underway, Barry lost a sailor overboard and the destroyers returned to Gibraltar on the 26th, without having made contact with the inbound convoy. She again sortied on 27 February, this time with Barry and HMS Tuberose to escort a convoy through the danger zone. The next day Tuberose departed the convoy to go on patrol and after parting, Barry and Dale returned to Gibraltar on 1 March.
Dale departed Gibraltar escorting the Norwegian merchant ship Beatrice to join the Convoy G-Ga-6 at noon on 2 March 1918. After joining the convoy, she parted and rendezvoused with the Italian ship Accame which had collided the night before with the merchantman Benarty, which had returned to Gibraltar escorted by HMS Rule. Dale escorted the Italian ship into Oran on 3 March. Underway again, she sighted a derelict vessel and conducted target practice in an effort to sink it. After firing seven rounds with little effect, Dale dispatched a wireless message to Oran noting the derelict’s location as a hazard to navigation and continued on to rejoin the convoy. Late on the 3rd, while heading in to base, she sustained damage which caused her to slow her speed, until the wreckage was cleared. Returning to Gibraltar, she entered the dockyard there to undergo repairs to her engines and to install a depth charge rack. With the repairs completed on 31 March, she conducted trials (1-5 April).
Dale resumed escort missions on 6 April when she sortied in company with HMS Underwing, HMS Cowslip, HMS Laggan, and HMS Rule to escort a 29-ship convoy through the danger zone. The Coast Guard cutter Yamacraw served as the ocean escort. The destroyers zigzagged and kept good station on the large convoy until the departed on 7 April, meeting an inbound convoy of nine ships escorted by the Coast Guard cutter Tampa at noon on the 8th. All the ships reached Base No. 9 without incident the next day. After a few days in port, Dale was again underway on 13 April, this time on an easterly course into the western Mediterranean to rendezvous with an inbound convoy which had been attacked by U-34 (Kapitänleutnant Johannes Klasing) off Cape Palos on 12 April. Having located the convoy, now consisting of 13 ships, Dale escorted the convoy into Gibraltar in company with HMS Richard, HMS Welford, HMS Nortesk, HMS Heliotrope, and HMS Hereide. All arrived at the base on the 14th. Later that same day, she was underway, with HMS Welford, HMS Nortesk, HMS Heliotrope, and a small British rescue tug, escorting Convoy HE 9, through the danger zone. Dale lost contact with the convoy during darkness and then returned independently to Gibraltar on 16 April. After several days in port, she conducted target practice off Gibraltar with guns, torpedoes, and depth charges on 21 April. The following day she departed as part of a danger zone escort for 28 outbound ships. The ocean escort was Sacramento (Gunboat No.19) and the other escorts included HMS Underwing, HMS Chrysanthemum, HMS Cowslip, and HMS Usk. Having parted with the outbound convoy on 23 April, the escorts rendezvoused with an inbound convoy of 14 ships escorted by the Coast Guard cutter Seneca. On 24 April 1918, the convoy was proceeding when Chrysanthemum signaled the presence of a U-boat, Dale attacked with five depth charges and the submarine submerged. The two ships then rejoined the convoy and proceeded without further incident. The next day, 25 April, HMS Cowslip was torpedoed and sunk by UB-105 (Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Marschall) off Tarifa, Spain. Dale circled and searched for the enemy while Seneca picked up the survivors. The submarine, however, escaped undetected. Dale returned to Base No. 9 accompanied by Usk and Chrysanthemum on the 25th. Later, that same day, Dale sortied with Decatur and Usk to patrol the straits in heavy seas and returned the next morning.
Underway again on 28 April 1918, this time in company with Decatur and HMS Parthian to meet an inbound HE convoy in the western Mediterranean. They convoyed the ships through the straits and out into the Atlantic before parting at 1900 on the 29th. While the escorts made their return to Gibraltar separately, Dale received an SOS from the U.S. merchant ship Susana en route to Gibraltar. After approaching the merchantman and speaking to her, Dale departed as HMS Celandine was nearby and directed to escort the ship into Gibraltar, where both she and her British escort arrived without incident the next day. Dale stood in to base independently that same day. The destroyer coaled on 1 May and received orders at noon the next day to get underway to proceed with Decatur to meet Convoy G-Ga-20 which had been attacked by a U-boat at 3:00 a.m. Clearing “The Rock” at 3:40 p.m., the destroyers made their best speed and sighted the convoy at 1:00 p.m. on the 3rd. Taking up station along with HMS Sweetbriar, the escorts conveyed the ships in to Gibraltar on 4 May. After coaling again on 5 May, Dale cleared Base No. 9 at 10:00 p.m. to rendezvous with Convoy Ga-G-21 which had been attacked by a U-boat and was short an escort, before rendezvousing with the convoy, however, Dale received orders to return to base. Reversing course, she stood back in at 8:00 p.m. on the 6th. After coaling on 7 May, the destroyer stood out in company with HMS Royal Scot, HMS Laggan, HMS Tuberose, and HMS Parthian to meet an inbound convoy. Scouting to westward in advance of the rendezvous, they met the 16-ship convoy escorted by Chester and two trawlers and escorted them in to Gibraltar on the 10th.
Dale sortied again on 16 May 1918 with HMS Underwing and HMS Rule, Decatur, and Bainbridge escorting Convoy HG 76 with Tampa as ocean escort into the danger zone. While en route, Bainbridge sighted a suspicious object but there was negative contact. The escorts parted at 5:15 p.m. on the 17th and proceeded southward to meet a 20-ship convoy escorted by HMS Gillia. Meeting the inbound assemblage at daybreak on 18 May, they all stood in to Gibraltar at 6:00 a.m. on 19 May. She was underway again on 24 May in company with HMS Coreopsis, HMS Underwing, and HMS Rule escorting an outbound convoy to 10º W. After parting with this convoy, they met an inbound 15-ship convoy and its ocean escort and conveyed them safely in to Base No. 9 on 27 May. Dale spent the next week (28 May-3 June) in port cleaning her boilers.
Dale departed Gibraltar on 4 June 1918. On a westerly course, she rendezvoused with the French submarine Amaranthe to conduct training. On 5 June, the submarine broke down and had to be taken under tow. Having been met by HMS Crocodile en route, all arrived at Gibraltar on 7 June. She sortied again on 9 June, this time in company with HMS Coreopsis, HMS Kilkeel, and Decatur to escort the 29-ship Convoy HG 82 with HMS Kileclaire as ocean escort into the danger zone. Leaving HG 82 at noon on 10 June, they met OM 74, 15 ships with HMS Kildine as ocean escort and brought them in to port on 11 June. Dale was underway again on 12 June with HMS Coreopsis, HMS Kilkeel, and Decatur. Rendezvousing with the 11-ship convoy with Tampa as ocean escort off Ceuta and escorted it through the straits to 10º 30' W where they parted company to meet Birmingham and the seven ship OE convoy on 13 June and shepherding them in to Gibraltar the next day. Underway again accompanied by HMS Coreopsis, HMS Rule, HMS, Kilkeel, and Decatur, Dale escorted HG 84’s 19 ships through the danger zone on 17 June. The next day they were joined by HMS Active and Birmingham as ocean escort. Having brought HG 84 through the danger zone, the escorts parted company and stood to the northeast to await OM 76. This latter 14-ship convoy with Ossipee as ocean escort, was met at 1600 on the 18th and safely brought into Gibraltar the next day. She cleared Gibraltar on the 21st and met up with Convoy WA 32 which had sailed with HMS Rule, HMS Coreopsis, and HMS Kilkeel earlier in the day. After convoying the 11 ships safely to the release point, each of the escorts returned to Gibraltar independently on the 23rd. Two days later, she sortied with HMS Rule, HMS Kennet, and HMS Kilkeel to escort HG 86 (21 ships) with Ossipee as ocean escort. While underway five ships broke from the convoy and steamed for the U.S. The escorts parted with HG 86 at 7:00 p.m. and stood northward to meet the 10-ship OM 78 with HMS Kildhrenan as escort. Affecting the rendezvous at 5:00 a.m. on 27 June, the escorts brought OM 78 into port without incident on the 28th. Dale entered the dockyard at Gibraltar on 1 July, for retubing her boilers. At the same time, Bainbridge and Barry were also deemed unfit and required to enter the yard for significant repairs and overhaul. As a result, this left the Destroyer Force at Gibraltar with only three serviceable ships – HMS Northesk, HMS Parthian, and Decatur – which prompted the dispatch of Gregory (Destroyer No. 82) and Dyer (Destroyer No. 84) to Gibraltar.
Dale underwent overhaul into November 1918, finally clearing the yard just before the Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November. Even with the fighting’s end, she continued to conduct convoy escorts and patrols, operating from Base No. 9.
With orders to return to the United States, Dale cleared Gibraltar on 8 December 1918, bound for home. En route she made stops at Lisbon, Portugal (9-11 December); Ponta Delgada, Azores [Base No. 13] (13-20 December); and Bermuda [Base No. 24] (1 January-10 January 1919), before standing in to Charleston [S.C.] Navy Yard on 12 January.
Dale departed Charleston on 6 February 1919 and steamed to the Philadelphia (Pa.) Navy Yard, reaching her destination on 8 February. Upon her arrival, she undertook preparations for decommissioning.
Decommissioned at Philadelphia on 9 July 1919, Dale was stricken from the Navy list and ordered to be sold on 15 September. Henry A. Hitner’s Sons of Philadelphia acquired Dale on 3 January 1920 for scrapping.
||Dates of Command
|Lt. Harry E. Yarnell
||24 October 1902 – 13 February 1903
|Lt. Hutchinson I. Cone
||13 February 1903 – 27 April 1904
|Lt. Harry E. Yarnell
||27 April 1904 – 19 April 1905
|Ens. Frank C. Martin
||19 April 1905 – 25 April 1905
|Lt. Samuel B. Thomas
||25 April 1905 – 9 November 1905
|Midshipman Thomas H. Taylor
||9 November 1905 – 5 December 1905
|Ens. Robert W. Kessler
||10 July 1907 – 8 August 1907
|Ens. George V. Stewart
||8 August 1907 – 4 August 1908
|Ens. Herbert H. Michael
||4 August 1908 – 17 May 1910
|Ens. Frank J. Fletcher
||17 May 1910 – 30 March 1912
|Ens. James L. Oswald
||30 March 1912 – 5 August 1912
|Lt. (j.g.) Charles A. Woodruff
||5 August 1912 – 9 September 1912
|Ens. James L. Oswald
||9 September 1912 – 12 October 1912
|Ens. Fred T. Berry
||12 October 1912 – 26 January 1914
|Lt. Vaughn K. Coman
||26 January 1914 – 13 June 1916
|Lt. Clarence M. McGill
||13 June 1916 – 3 July 1917
|Lt. Edward W. Hanson
||3 July 1917 – 29 June 1918
|Lt. Roy Pfaff
||29 June 1918 – 5 September 1918
|Lt. Benjamin H. Lingo
||5 September 1918 – 3 February 1919
|Lt. Stanley H. Gambrill
||3 February 1919 – 9 Jul 1919
Christopher B. Havern Sr.
2 April 2018