Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Louis H. Maxfield, Commander, U.S. Naval Air Station, Paimboeuf, France, to Captain Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, U.S. Naval Aviation Forces, Foreign Service

U.S.NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS

U.S.NAVAL AVIATION FORCES,FOREIGN SERVICE.

U.S.Naval Air Station,  

Paimboeuf, France,      

15 June, 1918.          

From:  Commanding Officer.

To:    Commander, U.S.Naval Aviation Forces,

       Foreign Service.

Subject:  Report test of K-2 <tube>.

     1. The listening device for submarines was brought to thisstation by Mr. Farnsworth, and before applying it to dirigibles it was first tested out from the 35 foot motor boat. After this it was carried in dirigible “AT1” on a patrol flight. The atmosphere was exceedingly unstable and there was little wind so that this first test from a dirigible was not altogether satisfactory. On June 13 the apparatus was taken again on a patrol flight and given a thorough test. The south bound convoy was met and dirigible headed into the wind, the apparatus lowered, dirigible manouevered so that it remained stationary in regard to the water, and directly over buoy. The propellers of the convoy were distinctly heard, both main motors and blower motor running. The convoy passed the dirigible, dirigible was brought to an altitude of 150 meters,went ahead of the convoy, brought into the wind, and operation repeated; propellers again heard. At 8 o’clock the same night on return from patrol the apparatus was again lowered near a low-powered single ship, the propeller of which was heard.

     2. Before the tests were ever started the Commanding Officer1 anticipated no difficulty whatever, and no difficult was experienced. When there is no wind and alternate sunshine and clouds,there will always be some trouble in keeping dirigible stationary over the buoy,but with a little wind, very little trouble will be experienced.

     3. It is recommended that all our large type dirigibles be equipped with the listening device, a good reel which can be slipped with a band brake. At present in this vicinity our liaison with surface craft is not good, but when we are able to improve things a little more as we have in the past, the listening device will prove of great value.2

(Signed) L.H.Maxfield.            

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 52, Box 337. Document identifier in top left-hand corner: “c-332.”

Footnote 1: Possibly, Lt. Frederic P. Culbert.

Footnote 2: Despite this favorable report, there is no evidence that dirigibles used the listening devices to any great extent. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat: 274-75.

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