|Lieut Charles W. Aby|
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|The first USS Dale was a sloop-of-war in the United States Navy.|
Dale was launched on 8 November 1839 by Philadelphia Navy Yard, and commissioned on 11 December 1839, Commander John Gwinn in command. She was taken to Norfolk Navy Yard to be readied for sea. The ship was named for Commodore Richard Dale, an American Seamen who helped form the United States navy after the American Revolutionary War. Despite his limited time in the US Nave, he was "high esteem as one of the original members of this branch of the military." Three destroyer class battle ships were also named Dale as well as a missile frigate.
Dale's first cruise — on which she sailed from Norfolk on 13 December 1840 — took her around Cape Horn to the Pacific Station. Based at Valparaíso, Chile, she patrolled the eastern waters of the Pacific to protect American commerce and the whaling industry. Upon her return to the east coast in October 1843, she went into ordinary at New York until early in 1846, when she was refitted for a second cruise in the Pacific.
Sailing from New York on 6 June 1846, Dale arrived at Valparaiso on 8 September, and cruised the coast of South America until ordered north for duty in the Mexican-American War. The sloop arrived off Monterey, California, in January 1847, and through the remaining year of the war, cruised the coasts of Mexico and California. Not only did she capture several Mexican privateers and merchantmen, but landing parties she sent ashore raised the U.S. flag over the towns of Guaymas and Mulege. Following the ending of the war in February 1848, Dale continued to patrol until the summer of 1849, when she sailed for the east coast, arriving at New York on 22 August 1849.
In ordinary at New York from August 1849-August 1850, Dale made three extended cruises along the African coast to suppress the slave trade, during which she bombarded the small Kingdom of Johanna, in August 1851. The Dale went out of commission in May 1859 but recommissioned on 30 June 1861 at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, and sailed to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, capturing two schooners on her passage to Port Royal, South Carolina. Here she served as store and guard ship until sailing north for repairs on 30 September 1862.
Dale arrived at Key West on 10 December for duty as ordnance store ship until 3 July 1865. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 20 July, and was in ordinary at Norfolk until recommissioned on 29 May 1867. She served as a training ship at the Naval Academy until 1884, then as a receiving ship at Washington Navy Yard until 1894.
While at Norfolk on 22 January 1886, Landsman Joseph H. Davis rescued a fellow sailor from drowning, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Transferred to the Maryland Naval Militia in 1895, the ship was renamed Oriole on 30 November 1904, and transferred to the Coast Guard at Baltimore on 23 July 1906.
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