Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Atlantic Fleet, to Caroline Wing Mayo

[Extract]

UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET

FLAGSHIP OF COMMANDER IN CHIEF

Jan. 24 – 1918     

My own dear Carrie:

. . . I was awakened very early -530- a.m. – by the testing of engines and steering gear. But we did not get under way. Howard1 came in about 645- to report that the Pilot said he could not take us out. The Westerly wind caused a low high tide and there was not enough water to take this ship safely thru the Buttermilk Channel.2 The ship draws 31½ feet. The Pilot and Capt. Howard watched the height of tide very carefully until 730- a.m. then had to give up any idea of getting out. So we are delayed for twenty four hours – but hope to get out tomorrow morning. . . . Today was a beautiful day for going to sea and it is too bad that we couldn’t get out. It is a serious reflection on our principal navy yard3 that the depth, under certain conditions of wind, is insufficient for a ship to get out. . . .

Henry.        

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, Henry T. Mayo Papers.

Footnote 1: Capt. William L. Howard, commander of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, flagship of the Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 2: Buttermilk Channel is a small tidal strait in upper New York Bay separating Governors Island from Brooklyn.

Footnote 3: Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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