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Gunboat Photo Archive

Dolphin (PG 24)

Call sign (1912):
Nan - Easy - Quack

Call sign (1920):
George - Quack - Jig - Watch

Dolphin Class Gunboat:

  • The fourth Dolphin was laid down 11 October 1883 as an Unarmored Cruiser by John Roach and Sons, Chester, PA
  • Launched 12 April 1884
  • Completed 23 July 1884
  • Commissioned USS Dolphin 8 December 1885
  • Decommissioned 1 May 1891 at the Norfolk Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned 15 March 1892
  • Decommissioned 23 November 1897 at New York
  • Recommissioned 24 March 1898
  • Decommissioned
  • Recommissioned 1 July 1911
  • Designated a Patrol Gunboat, PG-24, 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned 14 October 1921 at the Boston Navy Yard
  • Sold for scrap 25 February 1922 to the Ammunition Products Corp. of Washington, DC.


  • Displacement 1,485 t.
  • Length 256' 6"
  • Length between perpendiculars 240'
  • Beam 32'
  • Draft 14' 3"
  • Speed 15.5 kts.
  • Complement 117
    1910 - 152
    1914 - 139
  • Armament: Two 4" rapid fires, three 6-pounder rapid fire guns, four 3-pounder rapid fire guns and two Colt machine guns
    1911 - Two 4"/40 rapid fire mounts and five 3-pounders rapid fire guns
    1914 - Six 6-pounder rapid fire mounts
    1921 - One 4"/50 mount and two 6-pounders
  • Propulsion two double ended and two single ended boilers (replaced by cylinderical boilers in 1910), one 2,253ihp vertical compound direct-acting engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Dolphin 141k The Dolphin is depicted in her as-built rig in a lithograph produced for the Los Angeles Daily Herald. The art was one in a set of eight illustrations the newspaper offered for a month's advance subscription. Price: 75 cents.
    U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive image from the April 2008 edition of Naval History magazine
    Joe Radigan
    Dolphin 184k Photo taken with a "pinhole" lens Jonathan Enos
    Dolphin 155k
    Dolphin 221k U.S. Navy photo Jim Kurrasch, Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center
    Wyoming 331k c. 1887
    Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
    View of Santee's Wharf. From left to right: USS Dolphin, USS Wyoming (1859-1892) and USS Santee (1820-1912)
    U.S. Navy photo NH 54541
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Photo added 11 July 2021
    Dolphin 234k Original photo: Photographed during the 1890s
    U.S. Navy photo NH 69188
    Replacement photo: National Archives photo from the Department of the Navy, Bureau of Construction and Repair
    Original photo: Naval Historical Center
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Dolphin 118k c. 1890
    Detroit Photographic Co. photos 08923, 08924 and 020144/Library of Congress photos LC-D4-8923, LC-D4-8924 and LC-D4-20144
    Mike Green
    Dolphin 129k
    Dolphin 102k
    117k Stern view of the U.S. Navy dispatch vessel, USS Dolphin. Detroit Publishing Company, 1890-1912. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Robert Hurst
    Petrel 400k Our New Navy, 1892: From left to right and top to bottom: Concord (PG-3); monitor Miantonomah (BM-5); cruiser Philadelphia (C-4); armored cruiser New York (CA-2); cruiser Pirate; cruiser Atlanta: cruiser Boston; cruiser Newark (C-1); dynamite cruiser Vesuvius; dispatch boat Dolphin (PG-24); flagship Chicago; cruiser Baltimore (C-3); gunboat Yorktown (PG 1); flagship San Francisco (C-5); coastline battleship Massachusetts (BB-2), Indiana (BB-1) and Oregon (BB-3); gunboat Petrel (PG-2); torpedo boat Cushing (TB-1); and cruiser Charleston (C-2)
    Photo by Edward H.Hart from the Library of Congress
    Michael Mohl
    Dolphin 122k Photo from 1892 G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Washington, D.C. Encampment Fold Out Book "Our Navy" of U.S. Ships Tommy Trampp
    152k Port side view of the gunboat USS Dolphin, while at Norfolk Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, on 5 February 1892. From the Collection of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Robert Hurst
    Dolphin 263k Line drawing from Transactions of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Vol. 1, 1893. Robb Jensen collection Robb Jensen
    Dolphin 128k 27 April 1893
    At New York, during the Columbian Naval Parade
    Photo courtesy of DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University
    Robert Hurst
    Dolphin 91k Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York
    Main deck, looking forward
    Photo from the George E. Stonebridge Photograph Collection, 1897-1918 at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library website
    Daniel Hacker
    Photos added 11 July 2021
    Dolphin 51k Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York
    Photo from the George E. Stonebridge Photograph Collection, 1897-1918 at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library website
    Dolphin 468k Original photo: c.1895
    This is the ship that carried the remains of James Smithson (of the Smithsonian Institution) to the U.S.
    Replacement photo: Photo from The American Navy; Belford, Middlebrook and Co., Chicago - 1898
    Original photo: Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center
    Replacement photo: Thomas Becher
    Dolphin 131k Photo from a Supplement to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 May 1898 Tommy Trampp
    Dolphin 102k c. 1901
    View of the west-central part of the Washington Navy Yard waterfront, looking about NNE. The old experimental battery structure is in the center of the view. The ship at left is Dolphin
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 93332
    Robert Hurst
    Dolphin 109k c. 1901
    Dolphin docked at the western end of the Washington Navy Yard waterfront, District of Columbia. The view looks north. The old experimental battery building is at the right
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 93333
    Dolphin 278k Dolphin at Bar Harbor, Maine, during one of eleven visits between 19 August 1887 and August 1915
    From the collection of Raymond Strout
    Jonathan Eno
    Dolphin 85k Starboard quarter view of the auxiliary dispatch ship Dolphin. The Dolphin was probably part of the naval review for President William Howard Taft in New York City, October 14, 1912
    Library of Congress photo LC-B2- 2442-6
    Mike Green
    Dolphin 172k Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels (second from right) and his wife disembark from the Dolphin following the U.S. Navy Target Practice of 1913. The Dolphin served as a special dispatch ship for the Secretary of the Navy and often carried the President and other important officials and diplomats
    Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Dolphin 123k Admiral William B. Caperton became Commander in Chief, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, USS Alabama (BB-8), flagship, in 1913 and after a year's service in that command, he assumed command in November 1914 of Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet, USS Washington (ACR-11), flagship. In 1915 he transfered his flag to Tennessee (ACR-10), and later to Dolphin (PG-24), he commanded the Naval Forces that intervened at Haiti in 1915-1916; was Commander Naval Forces, Vera Cruz, in 1915; and commanded Naval Forces intervening and suppressing the Santo Domingo Revolution in 1916.
    Library of Congress photo ggbain 15823
    Dolphin 62k Navy Department photo from the 1919 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    PCOCAPT George Dewey, USN - USNA Class of 1858
    Attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy
    September 1884 - March 1885
    01CAPT Richard Worsam Meade, III, USN - USNA Class of 1850
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    8 December 1885
    02CDR George Francis Faxon Wilde, USN - USNA Class of 18657 October 1886
    03CDR Charles O'Neil, USN1 December 1889
    04CDR Yates Stirling, USN - USNA Class of 186418 March 1890 - 1 May 1891
    05LT Benjamin Horr Buckingham, USN - USNA Class of 186914 March 1892
    06CDR Willard Herbert Brownson, USN - USNA Class of 1865
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    28 March 1892
    07CDR William Turnbull Burwell, USN - USNA Class of 18663 December 1895
    08LCDR Richardson Clover, USN - USNA Class of 186730 April 1896
    09CDR Henry Ware Lyon, USN - USNA Class of 1866
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    29 May 1897 - 23 November 1897
    10CDR Henry Ware Lyon, USN - USNA Class of 1866
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    24 March 1898
    11LCDR William Henry Hudson Southerland, USN - USNA Class of 187220 June 1899
    12LCDR Albert Gleaves, USN - USNA Class of 1877
    Awarded both the Army and Navy Distinguished Service Medals (1918) - Retired as Admiral
    9 November 1901 - 3 June 1902
    13LCDR George Moss Stoney, USNJune 1902
    14LCDR John Henry Gibbons, USN - USNA Class of 187911 June 1903
    15LCDR Webster Appleton Edgar, USN - USNA Class of 188618 November 1905
    16LCDR Thomas Washington, USN - USNA Class of 1887
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    3 June 1907
    17LCDR Ralph Earle, USN - USNA Class of 1896
    Awarded both the Navy and Army Distinguished Service Medals - Retired as Rear Admiral
    1 November 1913
    18LCDR William Daniel Leahy, USN - USNA Class of 1897
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) and three Navy Distinguished Service Medals - Served as Chief of Staff to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1942 - 1945)
    Attained the rank of Fleet Admiral
    18 September 1915 - 1917
    19CDR Walter Gordon Roper, USN - USNA Class of 1898
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1919) - Retired as Captain
    22 January 1917
    20CDR John Grady, USN - Awarded the Medal of Honor (1914) and the Navy Cross (1918)
    Retired as Captain
    13 June 1918 - 8 December 1921
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Joe Radigan and Bill Gonyo

    View Dolphin (PG-24) Library of Congress Images
    View the Dolphin (PG-24)
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command Website
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