Skip to main content

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


5 Dec 1917

From: Sims

To:  Opnav

     1892. There is a present need at Brest of a supply of fuel oil and gasoline. This is now being met by arrangements with the British Navy. The needs of Brest will increase and as it is desirable to control our own supply of these important items it is suggested that we take over from the French their existing facilities at Brest which consists of five tanks complete total capacity five thousand tons connected with good water frontage and docks by suitable piping and pumps, with space for expansion. The whole plant will be turned over to the United States by the French provided we supply therefrom not to exceed one thousand tons fuel oil monthly for French oil burning ships at cost of fuel.

Admiral Wilson1 recommends acceptance of French plant and urges immediate construction of five additional four thousand ton tanks to provide storage sufficient to meet requirements for new chasers and destroyers likely to be based at Brest or vicinity. Material for new tanks would have to be provided from the U S but erection by local contractors can be arranged for. Ample space available for the five tanks recommended.

What does Department direct 22305.


NOTE: McKeon,[i.e., McKean]2 will you take this up immediately with Secretary.3 This is exactly in keeping with what we have already done, and ought to be done.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson, Commander, Patrol Squadrons Based in France.

Footnote 2: Capt. Josiah S. McKean, Staff, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 3: Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.

Footnote 4: Capt. William V. Pratt, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations.