USS Dale (DD-4)

USS Dale (DD-4) was a Bainbridge class destroyer and was the second destroyer to be commissioned into the US Navy. She served in the Philippines for most of her career, then in the Mediterranean in 1917-1918.

The Dale was named after Richard Dale, a US naval officer during the War of Independence, the Quasi-War with France and the campaign against Tripoli in 1801.

USS Dale (DD-4) in dry dock, Gibraltar, 1918
USS Dale (DD-4)
in dry dock,
Gibraltar, 1918

The Dale was launched on 24 July 1900, commissioned into the reserve on 24 October 1902 and fully commissioned on 13 February 1903. She joined the 1st Torpedo Flotilla of the North Atlantic Fleet and took part in an exercise off Maine and a Presidential Review off Oyster Bay.

In December 1903 the Flotilla left the US heading for the Far East, where in March 1904 it joined the Asiatic Fleet. The Dale was based at Cavite from then until 1917. In normal years it spent the summer in Chinese waters, showing the flag and carrying out exercises, and the winter in Philippine waters.

The First Torpedo Flotilla, convoyed by Buffalo (AD), cleared Norfolk 12 December 1903 and sailed to the Asiatic Station by way of the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Arriving at Cavite, Philippine Islands, 14 April 1904, Dale cruised in the islands and on the coast of China until placed out of commission in reserve at Cavite 5 December 1905.

Crew Spaces in USS Dale (DD-4)
Crew Spaces in USS Dale (DD-4)

On 5 December 1905 the Dale was placed into the reserve to under go repairs to her boilers. She was recommissioned on 10 July 1907, and remained in commission (along with the Chauncey) when the other three members of the class were decommissioned due to a shortage of personnel. During this period she was used to guard the target range at Cavite and as a mail transport, as well as taking part in the normal summer cruises.

After the US entry into the First World War the Dale was used to patrol the entrance to Manila Bay. On 1 August she and the rest of the Bainbridge class sailed for Gibraltar, where they arrived on 20 October. They were used to patrol the Mediterranean and escort merchant ships. Two of the class left for the United States after nine months, but Dale and Decatur remained in the Mediterranean until 9 December 1918.

The Dale returned to the United States on 12 January 1919 and was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 9 July. She was sold for scrap on 3 January 1920.

Displacement (standard)

420 tons

Displacement (loaded)

620 tons

Top Speed



4 Thornycroft boilers
2 Vertical Triple Engines


3000 miles at cruising speed




23ft 7in


Two 3in/25 guns
Five 6pdr guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



24 July 1900


24 October 1902

Ships in Class

Sold 1920

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

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 October 2015), USS Dale (DD-4) ,

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