Captain Steele was given command of USS Pittsburgh, flagship of the Asiatic Fleet (George W. Steele, Jr.). Early in 1927 Steele's ship landed sailors and Marines in Shanghai to protect Americans and other foreigners present in the city. Pittsburgh returned to her station at sea after Chiang Kai-shek's Cantonese army took control of Shanghai in March (Hansen). Following this duty, Steele was transferred to Paris, France in 1928 to serve as United States Naval Attach. He continued this duty until 1931 serving in Madrid, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal in the same capacity (George W. Steele, Jr.).