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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters



Origin Secretary of the Navy

Via  Commodore Gaunt and Admiralty              File No   1/4/2


Admiral Sims.

               263. In reply to your 69.1 information is necessary in regard to the maintenance of Air Units in England and France for patrol purposes at considerable expense, before the United States will commit itself to any Naval Aircraft programme. What type of aircraft have been found most useful for patrolling the Coast of England and France and to what extent is such patrol carried out. Kindly set out exactly in what direction our Naval Aircraft efforts would take. It is most necessary we should have all information tending to make the situation clear before a definite policy is embarked upon, and this information should precede the detailed request for material assistance. A definite request has been submitted by Captain Jackson and? (plans for) making arrangements agreements in advance of approval of the project but no statement of plans as to how the units asked for are to be used or to what extent they would be useful if furnished.2 We note that you are of opinion that no aeronautical developments should be undertaken that would in any way delay the completion of available antisubmarine equipment and craft. Taking into consideration our aeronautical policy abroad (ought have) the purpose of supplementing the anti-submarine efforts on the water, how far we justified in drawing. It is desired that Captain Jackson should submit a reply through you. A definite policy must be established in order to get the money from Congress and it is necessary to justify this policy by clearly showing the success of the Naval aircraft efforts abroad.

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

Footnote 1: See: Sims to Daniels, 3 July 1917.

Footnote 2: Capt. Richard H. Jackson, American Naval Representative to the Ministry of Marine. For the specifics of the request referred to herein, see: Jackson to Daniels, 13 July 1917. Jackson made a second request for material support on 20 July as well; Rosanno, Stalking the U-Boat: 21.

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