|USS Dale (1839)|
|Builder:||Philadelphia Navy Yard|
|Launched:||8 November 1839|
|Commissioned:||11 December 1839|
|Recommissioned:||30 June 1861|
|Decommissioned:||20 July 1865|
|Recommissioned:||29 May 1867|
|Renamed:||Oriole, 30 November 1904|
|Fate:||Transferred to Coast Guard, 23 July 1906|
|Displacement:||566 long tons (575 t)|
|Length:||117 ft (36 m)|
|Beam:||32 ft (9.8 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft 8 in (4.78 m)|
|Speed:||13 kn (15 mph; 24 km/h)|
|Complement:||150 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||14 × 32-pounder guns, 2 × 12-pounder guns|
USS Dale (later Oriole) was a sloop-of-war in the United States Navy launched on 8 November 1839 by at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and commissioned on 11 December 1839, Commander John Gwinn in command. She was taken to Norfolk Navy Yard and readied for sea.
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 Ocean 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 City 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. Thirty soldiers were landed at Mulege, but they were faced by artillery and significant opposition. Using the excuse of encroaching nightfall at a later date to justify their sudden departure, in truth the Battle of Mulege was a substantial victory for the Mexican forces, hence the current official appellation for the town, i.e., "Heroica 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. 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 United States 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 United States Coast Guard at Baltimore on 23 July 1906. On 17 September 1921 Oriole was returned to the US Navy and sold as a hulk to Mr. William Mattson of Baltimore.
- "Medal of Honor Recipients - Interim Awards, 1871–1898". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. 5 August 2010. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/int1871-98.html. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.
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