The USS Dale (DD-353) served in the U.S. Navy for a decade during the early part of the 20th century. She was named for Captain Richard Dale who served in the American Revolutionary War and in the Quasi-War with France. Dale was a member of the Farragut-class of destroyers.
Dale was laid down by the Brooklyn Navy Yard in February 1934, launched in January 1935, and commissioned in June with Commander W.A. Corn in command. Carrying a crew of 160, Dale was 341 feet three inches long and armed with five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four one-half inch machine guns, and eight 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Dale operated in the southern United States and escorted President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cruise in the Bahamas. Following this initial duty, Dale was deployed to the west coast and conducted routine fleet exercises and operated as a gunnery training ship at San Diego. In October 1939, Dale was assigned to the Hawaiian Detachment, and was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. She shot down one plane and then patrolled the harbor entrance thereafter.
Dale operated as a screen for Lexington and Yorktown from December 1941 to March 1942, then returned to Pearl Harbor, sailed to San Francisco, and then aided task forces during the Battle of Midway in July and August. She performed convoy duty in the Fiji Islands and New Hebrides, and also escorted troop transports. Dale returned to escort and training duty at Pearl Harbor in November 1942.
In January 1943, Dale was assigned to Aleutian waters. During this deployment, she supported the Amchitka occupation, as well as participating in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands and the pre-invasion bombardment of Kiska. Dale was deployed to the Marshall Islands from January to March 1944 and to New Guinea in April, and aided the capture of the Marianas Islands. She also screened aircraft carriers during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and following an overhaul on the west coast, Dale returned to duty for raids on Luzon and Okinawa.
Dale cruised between Ulithi and Okinawa between March and June 1945, and conducted patrol and escort duty in the region in July. She sailed to the west coast after the war ended and was decommissioned at New York in October, and then sold for scrap in December 1946.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Dale (DD-290)
Navy veterans serving on the USS Dale were at high risk for being exposed to asbestos on the ship. Most Navy ships built in the early 20th century contained large amounts of asbestos as it was an inexpensive insulating material with superb heat and fire-proofing capabilities.
Although asbestos-containing material is never completely harmless, when it is undisturbed and undamaged by fire it carries a fairly limited health risk. However, asbestos that is disturbed in a fire, from an enemy attack, from running into another vessel, or while refitting components of the ship, often becomes friable. This means that individual asbestos fibers in the insulation can be torn from the surrounding material and inhaled by those working with it or in the vicinity of it. Inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibers can lead to the development of malignant mesothelioma. If you, or someone you know, served on the USS Dale please fill out the form on this page to receive more information about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-353.
NavSource Naval History, USS Dale (DD-353).