The first USS Sampson (DD-63) was laid down on 21 April 1915 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co. of Quincy, Mass., launched on 4 March 1916, sponsored by Miss Marjorie Sampson Smith and commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 27 June 1916 with Comdr. B. C. Allen as the commanding officer.
Torpedo-boat destroyer Sampson was assigned to Division 9 of the Atlantic Destroyer Force. After war games off Provincetown, Mass., she joined the escort screen of a convoy which reached Queenstown, Ireland, on 25 May 1917. She reported for duty with the United States Naval Forces operating in European waters and was assigned to convoy escort duty in the approaches to the British Isles. Two British-type depth charge projectors were installed on her stern. On 29 May, she commenced escort duty and protected the troop transports and merchant convoys from hostile submarines throughout the remainder of World War I.
On 18 June 1917 Sampson rescued two small boat loads of survivors of the SS English Monarch and the captain and 13 sailors from the torpedoed SS Elele. The next morning, she picked up 17 other survivors of the SS Elele. Sampson answered other distress calls before the end of the war and made several attacks to drive off submarines reported or seen near her convoys. She steamed from France with the Queenstown division of destroyers on 29 November 1918 and stood out from Brest Harbor on 12 December to escort President Woodrow Wilson on board George Washington into the harbor. Returning to Queenstown on 14 December, she sailed for home on the 26th and arrived at the New York Navy Yard on 7 January 1919.
After repairs in the New York Navy Yard, Sampson was assigned to the 4th Division, 2d Flotilla, of the Destroyer Force and sailed on 22 March 1919 to base her operations from the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, R. I. She reported to the Inspector of Ordnance for experimental testing of torpedoes and mines. In May 1919 Sampson guarded the route of the NC-4 during that Navy seaplane's crossing over the Atlantic, the world's first successful trans-oceanic flight. Sampson had a deactivation overhaul 1 December 1919, completed on 14 February 1921. Sampson was decommissioned on 15 June 1921. On 17 July 1935 she was ordered scrapped in accordance with the London Treaty for the reduction of naval armaments. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 7 January 1936, and she was sold for scrap on 8 September 1936 to Boston Iron and Metal Co., Inc., Baltimore, Md.
For a more detailed account of the first USS Sampson see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s4/sampson-i.htm.