The first Retaliation was a brigantine which operated in the Continental Navy in 177S under the command of Capt. John Green. Few records of her service have survived. On 20 August 1778, the Marine Committee ordered Green to proceed in the brigantine down the Delaware from Philadelphia in company with French frigate Chimere to seek enemy ships in the river or the bay. Should he find no hostile vessels, he was to escort the frigate to a good offing and, after parting from her, cruise off the Delaware Capes.
No documents shedding light on Retaliation's subsequent sernce have been found.