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Wed, 12.11.1839

The USS Dale is commissioned

USS Dale

*The USS Dale was commissioned on this date in 1839. Later called the Oriole, it was a sloop-of-war vessel in the United States Navy.

It was the product of a non-patented invention by Benjamin Bradley. The Dale was one of six warships authorized to be constructed by The Congressional Act of April 3, 1837. The first of this group was Princeton, the Navy's first screw steamer. The other five became the 'Third Class Sloops' Dale was the only one of the five built at the Philadelphia Naval Yard and was the fastest.  Dale was launched with Commander John Gwinn in command and was taken to Norfolk Navy Yard before the sea.

She was named in the memorial of Richard Dale, a prisoner of war three times during the American Revolutionary War. USS Dale was the first of five ships memorialized after Richard Dale.  Dale made three extended cruises along the African coast as part of the Africa Squadron and Atlantic Anti-Slavery Operations of the United States to suppress the slave trade. The ship was also involved in the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. The US Revenue Cutter Service used it and later the US Coast Guard, among other activities.  

The Dale was placed into ordinary (naval reserve) numerous times. In August 1850, she was recommissioned and left for the Cape Verde Islands to relieve the USS Yorktown. In October 1850, upon arriving in the Cape Verde Islands, while part of the African Squadron in 1851, she sailed 28,313 miles (45,565 km) and 252 days, averaging 112 miles (180 km) per day.  Dale reportedly captured the slave ship W.G. Lewis on November 6, 1857, off the coast of Kongo.  Dale went out of commission in May 1859.  

The Dale was recommissioned on June 30, 1861, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. She sailed to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, capturing two schooners on her passage to Port Royal, South Carolina. She was a store and guarded ship until sailing north for repairs on September 30, 1862. After repairs, the Dale arrived at Key West on December 10 for duty as an ordnance store ship until July 3, 1865. 

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