The third USS Preble (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 12) was laid down by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California on 21 April 1899; launched on 2 March 1901; sponsored by Miss Ethel Preble; and commissioned on 14 December 1903, Lt. T. C. Fenton in command.

Preble, assigned to the Pacific Fleet, operated with the 4th and 2nd Torpedo Flotillas off the western seaboard from Washington to the Panama Canal Zone until 1908. Between 24 August and November 1908, she cruised to Hawaii and Samoa. On returning, she resumed West Coast operations until 4 February 1909, when she arrived at Mare Island for inactivation.

In reserve from 23 February to 17 September 1909, she was reassigned to the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla. Until 1913, she operated with Torpedo Flotilla, Pacific Fleet. Placed in reserve again on 19 June, she remained at Mare Island until resuming operations with the torpedo flotilla on 23 April 1914.

Torpedo practice, gunnery exercises and minesweeping operations followed, and during the summer of 1915, Preble participated in a cruise to Alaskan waters to gather logistic information. After another period in reserve status,  25 October 1916–3 April 1917, Preble departed San Diego 30 April 1917 for the East Coast. She arrived at Norfolk on 13 July and, until the end of World War I, was engaged in coastwise convoy duty along the mid-Atlantic seaboard.

Remaining on the East Coast after the war, Preble decommissioned at New York on 11 July 1919. Her name was struck from the Navy List on 15 September and she was sold on 3 January 1920, to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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