USS Dale (DD-353) 

USS Dale (DD-353) was a Farragut class destroyer that fought at Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guadalcanal, Aleutia, and during the invasions of the Marshall Islands, the Marianas and the Philippines.

The Dale was named after Richard Dale, who served in the Continental Navy during the War of Independence, the US Navy during the Quasi-War with France and commanded the Mediterranean Squadron during the war with Tripoli in 1801.

USS Dale (DD-353) from above, mid 1930s USS Dale (DD-353) from above, mid 1930s

The Dale was launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 23 January 1935 when she was sponsored by Mrs E.C. Dale, and was commissioned on 17 June 1935.

The Dale was allocated to Destroyer Division 61, part of Destroyer Squadron 20, and served as the division’s flagship.

In February-March 1936 the Dale carried out a cruise that took her to Norfolk, Dry Tortugas (Florida) and Galveston (Texas) and saw her act as an escort for President F.D. Roosevelt as he cruised in the Bahamas. After this cruise was over she departed for the West Coast to join her squadron.

In September 1936 the Dale took part in in exhibition of naval maneuvers that was filmed by Movietone News off San Diego. The entire Farragut class was involved, forming Destroyer Squadron Twenty, with support from several naval air squadrons.

Over the next few years the Dale took part in the normal life of the Pacific Fleet, taking part in the fleet problems, visiting Alaska on summer exercises and reaching as far as Hawaii, the Caribbean and Peru. On 5 October 1939 she departed from San Diego as part of the Hawaiian Detachment, the first step towards moving the main base for the Pacific Fleet to Pearl Harbor.

1941

On 17 March 1941 the Aylwin and Farragut collided during night exercises off Pearl Harbor. The Dale helped fight the fires on the Aylwin.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 the Dale was in the middle of a nest of destroyers, between the Farragut and Monaghan, with one boiler in use to provide auxiliary power. When the attack began Ensign F.M. Radel was in command. Her rear .5in machine guns opened fire at 0810, followed by her aft 5in guns, but her forward guns were blocked by the ships on either side and her gunnery director couldn’t be used because the 24in searchlight was in the way. As a result the 5in guns had to operate under local control, with little success. However her machine guns helped shoot down one dive bomber that was attacking USS Raleigh.

The Dale was ready to get underway by 0820, but had a lucky escape as she was backing out of the nest, when a torpedo aimed at the Raleigh passed under her bows! She had to stop to let the Monaghan attack a suspected submarine near the Curtiss, but the Dale was soon underway at 25 knots. As she approached the submarine nets in the entrance channel she came under heavy dive bombing and machine gun attack, but no bombs hit. As she passed the entrance buoys she had to take evasive action to avoid three dive bombs, and one was shot down as they flew past the destroyer.

By 0911 the Dale was outside the harbour and began an anti-submarine patrol. However she was still under air attack and had to run at high speed, making her sonar gear unusable. At 1114 she was joined by the Worden, and the small force investigated a false report of Japanese transport ships. She then formed part of the anti-submarine screen for the cruisers Detroit, Phoenix, St. Louis and Astoria, but at 1410 one of her turbines broke down and she was unable to keep up with the task force. Eventually she was forced to leave the task force and spent the anchor stopped at sea. On the following day she was used to patrol close to the entrance to Pearl Harbor, a role that didn’t require both engines.

The Dale took part in the failed attempt to relief Wake Island. On the return voyage to Pearl Harbor the Dale, Aylwin and Monaghan attacked a submarine, reportedly forcing it to broach and producing a large oil slick.

1942

At the start of 1942 the Dale formed part of the screen for the carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Yorktown (CV-5), and took part in the raids on Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea on 10 March. This duty finished on 17 March.

USS Dale (DD-353) with the battle fleet, late 1930s USS Dale (DD-353) with the battle fleet, late 1930s

From then until 11 may she was based at Pearl Harbor, and took part in escort and training duties. She then departed for Mare Island where she underwent an overhaul.

On 5 June the Dale left San Francisco with a force that was heading west to support the task forces that took part in the battle of Midway.

She was then allocated to convoy escort duty between Viti Levu, Fiji, Efate and Espiritu Santo.

The Dale took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal, escorting troop transports to the island.

On 18 August the Dale, Aylwin and Helana (CL-50) escorted the carrier Long Island (AVG-1) from Efate to Guadalcanal. On 20 August the carrier was in range to fly off 19 F4F-4s and 12 SBD-3s from a position 200 miles to the south-east of Guadalcanal, to reinforce the squadrons operating from Henderson Field. The squadron returned to Efate on 22 August.

On 15 September the Dale and Anderson escorted the North Carolina to Tonga-Tabu after she was hit by a torpedo. They arrived at the island on 19 September. 

In late September the Dale and the Aylwin left Tongatabu as part of the escort of the damaged battleship North Carolina (BB-55), which was heading to Pearl Harbor for repairs. They arrived safely on 30 September. She was then used on escort and training duties at Pearl Harbor, before she was sent out to escort the battleships Washington (BB-56) and South Dakota (BB-57) into Pearl Harbor. She then escorted the South Dakota back to San Francisco.

1943

On 9 January 1943 Dale, Aylwin and Bancroft (DD-598)departed from San Francisco heading for the Aleutians. She took part in the occupation of Amchitka, then patrolled in that area until 19 March.

USS Monaghan (DD-354) and USS Dale (DD-353) emerge from smoke USS Monaghan (DD-354) and USS Dale (DD-353) emerge from smoke

On 22 March the Dale was part of a force that moved to the west of Attu to stop the Japanese moving any reinforcements to Attu or Kiska. On 26 March this force clashed with a larger Japanese force that was attempting to bring reinforcements to Attu. During the Battle of Komandorski Islands the Dale helped screen the badly damaged cruiser Salt Lake City (CA-25), and fired on all of the Japanese cruisers involved in the battle. Although neither side lost a ship, or suffered heavy casualties, the Japanese retreated without landing the reinforcements.

The Dale screened the transports and fire support ships during the assault on Attu on 11 May. She then patrolled off Attu until 1 August, before moving to Kiska to take part in the pre-invasion bombardment on 2 August. She screened the transports landing on the island on 13 August, although the Japanese had already evacuated the garrison, so there was no battle. The Dale and Kane (DD-235) scouted Rat and Buldir Islands on 22 August, and again found the Japanese had gone.

The Dale left Adak on 5 September and reached Pearl Harbor on 16 September. She escorted a support group which on 8 October refuelled carriers returning from 2 days of air strikes on Wake Island. She then underwent a period of training at Pearl Harbor.

The Dale took part in the invasion of Makin in the Gilbert Islands, escorting a group of LSTs during the invasion of 20 November. She then returned to the US West Coast.

1944

The Dale left San Diego on 13 January 1944 to join the forces heading for the Marshall Islands. On 25 January she helped rescue 13 men who had been either blown overboard or jumped off to avoid a fire on the flight deck of the carrier USS Sangamon, caused by a burning belly tank skidding across the deck after a crash landing. She was used to screen the carriers during the invasions of Kwajalein (31 January) and Eniwetok (18 February). She remained on escort and patrol duties in the Marshalls until 22 March.

She then screened TF 58 during air attacks on Palau, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai (30 March-1 April), supported the invasion of Hollandia from 21-24 April, and supported raids on Truk, Satawan and Ponape as the fleet returned north from New Guinea.

From 6 June-30 July the Dale took part in the invasion of the Marianas Islands. During the campaign she bombarded Saipan and Guam, supported the underwater demolition teams operating off the beaches and screened the carriers during the battle of the Philippine Sea. On the night before the invasion of Guam (20-21 July), the Dale and Aylwin supported underwater demolition teams near Adelup Point and Asan Beach. The Aylwin then carried out a bombardment of Asan Beach, before being replaced by the Dale early on 21 July.

The Dale then departed for the US, undergoing an overhaul at Bremerton Navy Yard that lasted from August to October. After this was completed she moved to Ulithi to join TF 38.

The Dale formed part of the screen for TF 38 from 25 November-8 December, taking part in the later stages of the land battle of Leyte during the invasion of the Philippines.

1945

The Dale then screened the group as it took part in a series of raids on the Chinese Coast, Formosa, Luzon and Okinawa at the start of 1945, and during the carrier attacks on Tokyo (February 1945) and Kobe.

This ended the Dale’s front line service. Between 13 March and 11 June 1945 she was used to escort the logistics group on five voyages between Ulithi and Okinawa.

On 11 June she departed for Leyte to join the screen for a carrier division, but this was a short lived duty and she soon left as part of the escort of a convoy heading to Ulithi. She patrolled in this area until 29 July, then escorted a convoy to Okinawa.

At the end of the war the Dale was at Guam. She escorted two ships to Japan, arriving on 19 August, then departed to the US, reaching San Diego on 7 September. From there she moved to the east coast, and she was decommissioned at New York on 16 October 1945. She was sold for scrap on 20 December 1946. 

Dale received 12 battle stars for World War II service, for Pearl Harbor, the Bougainville and Salamaua-Lae raids of 1942, the Aleutians, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Palau and Truk raids of 1944, Hollandia, the Marianas (Saipan, Guam and the Philippine Sea), the raids on Formosa and Nansei Shoto, Iwwo Kima, Okinawa, and Balikpapan.

Displacement (standard)

1,500t

Displacement (loaded)

2,064t

Top Speed

36.5kts
36.6kts at 40,353shp at 1,513t on trial (Farragut)

Engine

2-shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
42,800shp (design)

Range

6,500nm at 12kts
8,968nm at 12kts on trial (Farragut)
5,980nm at 12kts at 2,150tons (wartime)
3,710nm at 12kts at 2,150tons (wartime)

Armour - belt

 

 - deck

 

Length

341ft 3in

Width

34ft 3in

Armaments

Five 5in/38 DP guns
Four 0.5in AA guns
Eight 21in torpedoes in two quad mounts
Two depth charge tracks added later

Crew complement

160 (much higher in wartime)

Laid down

 

Launched

23 January 1935

Commissioned

17 June 1935

Sold for Scrap

20 December 1946

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 September 2021), USS Dale (DD-353) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Dale_DD353.html

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