Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
File 79. Battleship Division Nine
United States Atlantic Fleet, 1/Sc.
U.S.S. NEW YORK, Flagship.
19 July 1918.
From : Commander, Battleship Division Nine.
To: Secretary of the Navy (OPERATIONS).
Via: Force Commander.
Subject : U.S. DESTROYERS – Assignment of to BATTLESHIP
1.- The question and desirability of having a force of American destroyers permanently attached to the GRAND FLEET as a screen for this division is again very much to the fore; and it is most earnestly requested that it be given consideration.
2.- From information at hand British destroyers attached to the fleet are being depleted faster than they are being replaced, the question of supplying this division with a screen is a serious one and a big drain on the number available.
3.- It is a tight pinch to supply enough to screen five ships, there are not enough to screen six; hence the DELAWARE may have to be sent home willy-nilly, - one or two of the battleships remain in port at a time, and the division consist of only four ships for manoeuvering purposes.
4.- I am aware of the great demand for destroyers for other purposes, yet, never-the-less, it is requested that consideration be given to the above recommendation and destroyers be detailed as our screen. Even if only two or four were sent for the present it would greatly help.
(signed) Hugh Rodman.
Copy: F. Comdr.
Source Note: DTS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520. Despite the advisability of Rodman’s request, the Navy was unable to spare additional destroyers for this purpose.