The first USS Chauncey (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 3) was launched on 26 October 1901 by Neafie and Levy Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; sponsored by Mrs. M. C. S. Todd; placed in reduced commission on 20 November 1902; placed in reserve 2 December 1902; placed in full commission on 21 February 1903, Lieutenant S. E. Moses in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

Chauncey served with the Coast Squadron until 20 September 1903, when she was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet, leaving Key West, Florida for the Orient 18 December. After sailing by way of the Suez Canal, she arrived at Cavite to join the force representing American strength and interest in the Far East as it cruised in the Philippines during winters and off China during summers. Aside from the period from 3 December 1905 to 12 January 1907, when she was in reserve at Cavite, Chauncey continued this service until the entrance of America into World War I.

On 1 August 1917, Chauncey sailed from for convoy escort duty in the eastern Atlantic, based at St. Nazaire, France. On 19 November 1917, while about 110 miles west of Gibraltar on escort duty, Chauncey was rammed by the British merchantman SS Rose as both ships steamed in war-imposed darkness. At 0317, Chauncey sank in 1500 fathoms, taking to their death 21 men including her captain. Rose picked up 70 survivors and carried them to port.

Source: Naval History & Heritage Command including the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.