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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Chronological Copy.

Cablegram Sent Dec. 16, 1917  FHA1

To   Opnav, Washington (Bunav)               Serial No. 2206

Prep. by S1    NCT2 D.R.

18 D          

2206.     Your 1544.3   Urgently recommend junior officers ordered home for destroyers be engineer officers and not executive officers. Commanding Officers destroyers can readily act as their own Executive officers while training new officers, but they can not efficiently perform engineering duty in addition to command. It is considered essential that new oil-burning turbine destroyers have experienced engineer officers and that a grave error will be committed if they are not supplied. If two officers of previous destroyer experience are to be ordered to each new destroyer it is urgently recommended that one of them be an engineer officer. My letter G 3321 of Nov. 30 and again of Dec. 4 cover this subject.4 23316


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The number at the end of the cable is a stamp.

Footnote 1: These are most likely the initials of whoever decoded the cable.

Footnote 2: S1 is a reference to the Admiralty, and Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims' chief of staff.

Footnote 3: The document referred to has not been found.

Footnote 4: The message referred to has not been found. Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, replied two days later saying he recognized the merits of Sims’ proposals but was unable to alter established policies on assigning engineers. See: Benson to Sims, 18 December 1917.

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