Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

[Extract]

21st June 1918.

FROM:     Force Commander.

TO:       Secretary of the Navy (Operations)

SUBJECT:  General Report.

     1.   ENEMY SUBMARINE OPERATIONS.

     During the week ending 8 June it was estimated that from four to seven U boats were operating away from their bases including the cruiser submarine on the Atlantic Coast. These vessels were operating mainly between Ireland and the Cornish Coast and the western entrance to the English Channel.

     Other areas of activity were the Irish Sea and off the coast of Yorkshire, although the number of large submarines at sea was remarkably small. There was apparently at the same time a special concentration of effort on the part of small enemy submarines off the east coast of England.

     The following table gives detailed particulars of enemy activities in the North Atlantic-

AREA

Average No.of Submarines in area per day.

North Sea, South of 53º 30’ N.

2

North Sea, North of 53º 30’ N.

5 - 6

South-west of Ireland

1

Atlantic, North of Finisterre

1 - 2

Atlantic, South of Finisterre

1

Atlantic, West of 40º W.

1

North-west of Ireland and Scotland

2 – 3

Irish Sea, North of 54º N.

    1 – 2 (?)

Irish Sea, South of 54º N.

1 – 2

Irish Sea, Bristol Channel

1 – 2

English Channel, approaches

1

English Channel, west of Lyme Regis

1

English Channel, east of Lyme Regis

1 – 2

Bay of Biscay

1

 

ENGAGMENTS

     Reports of 27 encounters with enemy submarines have been received as follows:-

               3 by T.B.D’s. [i.e., Torpedo Boat Destroyers]

               2 by “P” class vessels. [i.e., patrol boats]

               1 by sloop

               1 by Minesweepers.

               1 by Submarine

               6 by Auxiliary Patrol

              10 by Aircraft

               3 by Merchant vessels.

Week ending 15 June 1918.

     During week ending 15 June it was estimated that 6 U boats were at sea including the Deutschland type cruiser submarine on the American coast.1 The other large boats were mainly working to the south of Ireland ow <or> were on passage.

     Considerable activity was experienced from the smaller type of submarines off the North East coast of England from Fair Islands to the Humber, and during the early part of the week between Portland and Land’s End.

     The following table gives detailed particulars of enemy activity in North Atlantic Waters:-

AREA

Average No.of Submarines in area per day.

North Sea, South of 53º 30’ N.

    1 – 2 (?)

North Sea, North of 53º 30’ N.

4 - 6

S.W. of Ireland

1 - 2

Atlantic, North of Finisterre

     1  (?)

Atlantic, South of Finisterre

-

Atlantic (N. American coast)

1

North-west of Ireland & Scotland

2

Irish Sea, North of 54º N.

    -

Irish Sea, South of 54º N.

1

Irish Sea, Bristol Channel

1

English Channel, approaches

1

English Channel, West of Lyme Regis

1 - 2

English Channel, E. of Lyme Regis

1

Bay of Biscay

      1   (?)

 

ENGAGEMENTS.

          Reports of 11 encounters with enemy submarines were received as follows:-

                    2 by T.B.D’s

                    1 by Sloop

                    6 by Auxiliary Patrol

                    2 by Aircraft.

     2.                 ENEMY MINE LAYING.

Week ending 8 June 1918.

     During the week ending 8 June 48 mines were destroyed and activity was experienced off Fifeness2 in the approach to the River Forth, in the Channels off Cromer and off Havre.

Week ending 15 June, 1918.

     The number of mines destroyed during this week – 18 – is the lowest number recorded since November 1917.

     An area with a radius of 5 miles from the position in which “KONINGEN REGENTES3 was sunk was searched without any mines being found.

     New enemy moored mines were located on 2nd June to the N.W. of Haisborough Light vessel,4 in the direct line of passage of repatriation vessels. Nine were swept up between 2nd and 7th June.

     Activity was experienced at the junction of the Harwich and Nore Areas and in the vicinity of the Royal Sovereign Light Vessel.

     3.   GENERAL INFORMATION.

     British submarine D.4. 18 miles S.E. of St. Catherines, sighted an enemy submarine out of torpedo range, so rose and forced the enemy to dive by gunfire.

     Armed trawler “St. John’s” which had dropped astern from her convoy, wasattacked by a submarine and sunk by gunfire in lat. 55º 55’ N. long. 8º 15’ W.

     Airship “C.4” dropped bombs on a periscope 4 miles N.N.E. of Hartlepool. Oil rose and destroyers and Minesweepers were directed to the spot and dropped depth charges.

     Armed trawler “Rosetta”, whilst listening near St. Anthony heard a submarine which fouled her trawl and towed the vessel in circles for an hour. Other trawlers arrived and dropped depth charges.

     H.M.S. MEDEA exploded her paravane and dropped depth charges 18 miles east of Hartlepool. Oil came to the surface.

     An Italian Submarine working on the Otranto barrage, sighted an enemy submarine; four hours later a loud explosion was heard and much oil was still visible after thirty hours. Mines were found in the vicinity, and it seems probable that the enemy was destroyed by one of her own mines5. . . .

STORE SHIPS.

     The BESOEKI was discharged and shipment for the sixth Battle Squadron placed on board by noon on the 5th June.

     The transfer of 750 tons of sugar forming part of the cargo of this ship to British authorities was completed on 3 June.

NEW STOREHOUSE.

     The concrete foundation for the new storehouse at Deep Water Quay is being constructed by contractors and the railroad tracks by the Railway Company.

     Stores for the destroyers recently transferred to Brest together with all spares, transfer accounts, etc. will be sent to Brest on board H.M.S. ZINNIA, sailing about 19 June. Such propeller generators, etc. as cannot be taken by ZINNIA will be sent to Cardiff to be further transshipped to Brest.

     An investigation has been made of the cold storage facilities available at Limerick and Dublin. It is found that there is nothing available in Limerick, but that there will be storage space available at Dublin, to handle the excess of meats expected on the Glacier.

REFITS.

     McCALL was sent for overhaul ahead of ROWAN and JENKINS on account of necessary repairs which had accumulated. She should be ready by 23 June.

DATES OF COMPLETION OF REPAIRS.

MANLEY -  no estimate can be made;

CASSIN & McDOUGAL - 30 June;

PARKER -   21 June;

STERRETT -      DIXIE is commencing work of retubing No.1 boiler of this vessel. Other boilers will be undertaken later.

SHAW- -        Has been experiencing considerable condenser troubles. It is probable that this ship’s condensers will eventually have to be retubed.

MELVILLE -       The machine shops of the MELVILLE are now working 24 hours a day in three shifts of 8 hours each.

TRANSFER OF SHIPS TO BREST.

     The transfer of eleven destroyers from Queenstown to Brest was completed by 12 June. The McDOUGAL will also be sent on completion of repairs.

     All spare gear and equipment that cannot be taken by the ships themselves will be sent to Brest by British sloop set aside by the British Commander-in-Chief6 for that purpose.

COMMENDATION BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

     There is enclosed herewith copy of a letter received from the Commander-in-Chief Coast of Ireland on the detachment of these destroyers from the Queenstown base.7

NAVAL HOSPITAL.

     The work of preparing the base hospital is progressing. to hiave an idea of the work in hand during week ending 8 June –

Elevation of buildings was stated, sanitary and sewerage piping commenced to barracks. Hospital coprps building and two other barracks commenced. Grading under mess hall completed. Boring for artesian well commenced and storage tank for 10,000 gallons of water moved to the grounds.8

DUTCH CORRESPONDENTS.

     The representative of the Creel Bureau in London, Mr. Suydam, escorted two prominent Dutch journalists to Queenstown with a view to allowing them to see the activity of U.S. Naval Forces and the excellent degree of co-operation existing between our Service and the British Service. These correspondents were very much impressed with all that they saw and upon returning to London, were accorded an extended interview with the Force Commander.9

     The observations of these correspondents is considered very important as the papers which they represent in Holland are widely read in both neutral and enemy countries.

BARRACKS.

     The barracks buildings at Whitepoint10 have been laid off and plans are well under way for their erection. It is planned that they shall accommodate 1440 men (including a stevedore gang to be formed and 600 men to be employed at T.R.S.) This will comprise thirteen buildings each 20 x 140 ft. as dormitories for eighty men each; mess hall 40 x 160 ft. with tables to seat about 800 men; kitchen, latrine, washouse, dispensary and administrative buildings will also be provided. The firm of Humphreys and Co. in London have been asked to submit estimates for the work.

     About 230 men from MELVILLE and DIXIE are now quartered in Ballybricken house.

     Concrete cisterns at the springs, fresh water piping, wash house, lavatory, dynamo engine house are completed. There is also in hand a landing pier, a mess hall, electric wiring and fixtures and considerable other works.

     Improvement work on the recreation grounds is continued as fast as men and material are available.

RADIO.

     Installed safety links in main antennae of all Destroyers present at base during week ending 8 June. These safety links are for the purpose of preventing antennae carrying away due to whip of masts caused by shock of explosion of mine or torpedo. . . .

     The radio station under construction at the Air Station Headquarters, Queenstown, should be completed about 30 June.

     Radio Station at Lough Foyle is about 90% completed.

MEN’S CLUB.

     The Men’s Club is progressing very satisfactorily and constantly proves itself an excellent institution of the greatest importance to the spirit and morale of the forces, particularly in view of the conditions in Queenstown.11

     Of the original fund provided by prominent Americans in London for the establishment of this Club, £395 are remaining. . . .   

     The significant feature of this institution is the fact that it is manned, operated, and managed by our own men and officers. This results in a much higher degree of popularity and usefulness then if it were manned and operated by outside organizations which always in the minds of the men carry a certain unavoidable stigma of charity.

TRAINING BARRACKS.

     During the week ending 10 June the Training Barracks received 141 men and transferred 280.

     The Commanding Officer of the Barracks12 reports that the drafts of men received from the States have not been in good condition as regards cleanliness and stamina, apparently due to the sea voyage under unfavorable conditions by men unaccustomed to the sea.

     He also states that a number of men have been received whose rating had little bearing upon their qualifications. For example:- one man’s rating had been changed from Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class to Cabin Steward although he had no qualifications for the latter rating. He would have been useless if he had been sent to sea either as Steward or Gunner’s Mate.

     Practically all hands at the barracks have been steadily employed as working parties at the supply depot, storehouse, barracks, at Queenstown, discharging ships, the torpedo repair station and at other points in the vicinity. This has made it difficult for the station to undertake training and breaking in new men and to meet the demands of the destroyers promptly during their short periods in port. To obviate this a stevedore gang will be organized for the sole purpose of furnishing working parties.

     6. SUBMARINE DIVISION FIVE.

     Attention is invited to the summary of operations forwarded herewith from Submarine Division Five from December 1st to June 1st, 1918.13

     It is to be noted that these (7) submarines in this period sighted fifteen enemy submarines attacking four with torpedoes. . . .

     11.  VISIT OF FORCES COMMANDER TO NORTHERN BASES.

     The Force Commander recently visited our Battleship Division with the Grand Fleet, made a hasty inspection, and spoke to the officers and crews of each ship.

     The ships from a superficial inspection appeared to be in excellent condition. In fact, from a standpoint of cleanliness and smartness it is considered that they are above the average maintained in the Fleet in time of peace. It is particularly noteworthy that these ships are able to efficiently maintain themselves in a state of readiness while remaining on a maximum of four hours steaming notice. The problems presented to the young engineer officers to meet this situation require no comment. As previously reported, the condition of these ships, their men and the manner in which they keep up their material with the ships’ forces, is attracting a great deal of favourable comment in the British Service.

     The Force Commander was entertained at dinner by the Commander-in-Chief, Admriatly Beatty, on his Flagship the QUEEN ELIZABETH.14 All Flag Officers of the Fleet were present.

     Although Admiral Rodman has not requested it, it is considered that his staff should be enlarged. Entirely apart from the necessary staff work in connection with the operations and maintenance of this division, there is a great deal of important work effecting the future of our service, which it would seem should be accomplished if the necessary officers of proper experience and training are available.

     This division forms the only direct contact between our Fleet and the British Fleet, and particularly eith [i.e., with] the possibility constantly existing of one of the greatest naval battles of history, it would seem important that every effort should be made to the end that our Fleet after the war shall profit to the maximum extent from the experience of the British Fleet.

     In view of the peculiar circumstances under which this division is operating, it is submitted that the same rules should not apply as regards staff, as have been established for divisions of the Fleet in home waters.

     It is not here intended to convey the idea that the British Fleet is superior to ours. It is important to learn by experience how not to do things as well as how to do them.

     With the remarkable growth of our merchant marine, which will mean growing importance of the Navy, it is submitted that every opportunity should be taken of profiting from the experience of this war. It would also be useful to have lia<i>son officers on the staffs of the British Flag Officers of the Harwich and Dover light cruiser, destroyer, submarine and mining commands.15

     The Force Commander also visited both Mining Bases16 and the Naval Hospital at Strathpeffer.

     The general condition of the Mining Bases as regards industrial problems involved, as well as regarding questions of housing and discipline, were found to be eminently satisfactory. The shops are in full operation and have been organised on the best principles of scientific management. It is considered that Captain Murfin is deserving of praise and recognition by the Department for the very thorough and efficient manner in which he paved the way for the present excellent state of affairs at these bases and organized and solved the industrial problems presented.17

     The Naval Hospital at Strathpeffer seems to be very well equipped and in all respects a finished Naval Hospital in actual operation.

     15. ORDNANCE MATERIAL.

     It is very important that a large stock of depth charges be maintained at Bases 6, 7, and 25, with smaller stocks at Bases 9 and 27.18 At this date there are only 41 depth charges at Base 6. The expenditure at this Base with 37 destroyers is 250 per week. All of the new destroyers should be fitted to carry a minimum of 50 Mark 11, Mod 1, 300 lb. depth charges.

     It appears entirely practicable for destroyers with 18 knots or more speed to drop a depth charge containing an explosive charge of 600 lbs. T.N.T. without damage to dropping vessel, and it has been recommended that several such depth charges be issued to each destroyer.

     When a destroyer actually gets close contact with a submarine, and at least three times in the past eight months our destroyers alone have gotten so close that the outline of the submarine’s hull could be seen from the bridge, it is of extreme importance that the opportunity should not be lost of inflicting serious damage. Hence the recommendation that each destroyer carry a few heavy depth charges ready for use in such emergencies.

     In order to provide for overhauling the torpedoes one every 6 months, of a total of about 300 destroyers at least 2 Torpedo Repair Bases in European Waters will be necessary, one in the British Isles to care for torpedoes of destroyers operating in waters surrounding the United Kingdom and on the west coast of France, and the other base in the Mediterranean to care for torpedoes of vessels operating in the Mediterranean.19 The Torpedo Repair Base at Base 6 is therefore being expanded to provide for the overhaul of 400 torpedoes per mobnth. At present this repair station is over hauling from 50 to 60 torpedoes per month including those of the U.S. Submarines operating in that locality.

     Depth charge throwers proved an efficient effective weapon, additional throwers are being installed on all vessels of the Patrol and Destroyer Forces Operating in European Waters.

     In order to permit installation of increased depth charge equipment the after torpedo tube was removed from the 420-ton destroyers and the after 3" gun was removed from the 750-ton destroyers. In a recent collision of the U.S.S. PARKER one twin tube and two torpedoes were damaged beyond repair. Before departure of the U.S.S. PATTERSON for the United States about 4 June one twin tube was removed for installation on the PARKER to replace damaged one.

     Guns are being installed, as opportunity affords, on vessels operating under U.S. Government Charter continuausly [i.e., continuously] in the war zone. Four 5" – 51 caliber guns have been installed in the U.S.S. BIRMINGHAM and two 5" – 50 caliber guns removed from the BIRMINIGHAM have been installed in the U.S.S. CHESTER, giving that vessels a battery of four 5" – 50 caliber guns. Four 3" – 50 caliber guns were removed from the BIRMINGHAM and CHESTER each. The batteries of the Coast Guard Cutters, ocean escort vessels will be increased as soon as the guns are received.

     Bases 17 and 18 are engaged in assembling Mark VI mines and sinkers for laying the northern barrage.20 On the fifth day they were able to assemble 800 mines and sinkers complete ready for laying and expect to reach a maximum of 1,000 per day.21 The American minelayers completed their first operation by laying 47 miles of one system of 3 lines of mines. Mine laying has been suspended temporarily owing to the shortage of D-4’s22 necessitating the suspension of shipment of mines until arrival of sufficient D-4’s. It is most important that all the components of the mines and sinkers be shipped in about equal quantities in order to avoid similar delays in future.

     13. REPAIRS.

     The situation as regards repairs of the vessels of this command is, in general, satisfactory. In French and British waters regular overhaul periods have been arranged for destroyers at the works of Cammel Laird, Liverpool. Minor current repairs will be handled as far as possible by our repair ships assisted by such local facilities as are available.

     The work done by our Repair Ships has been such as to deserve the highest recommendation. It has attracted the attention of all foreign Services. The degree of readiness of our escort and patrol craft for duty is largely due to the energy and efficiency of those repair ships.

     As all of the work performed on these vessels involves a large degree of self-sacrifice, inasmuch as their work is entirely for others and they do not have the compensation of possible encounters with the enemy, it is hoped that the Department will take every opportunity of recognising and commending them.

     The three small repair bases ashore on the West Coast of France and one for Gibraltar are being organized, part of the material and equipment being purchased locally, and part from the United States.

     These Stations will be manned and operated by our own enlisted Force and will be designed principally to care for overflow of work from repair ships. This will relieve the local repair shops which in some places are so overloaded that our work can only be undertaken to the detriment of important but less urgent work for our Allies.

     Conferences have been held with representative of U.S. Army and U.S. Shipping Control Committee to an end of systematizing minor current repairs in all U.S. vessels in the different ports.

     The principal aim is to simplify methods and avoid the duplication of plants and personnel.

     Mr. Raymond23 of the Shipping Control Committee has just finished a complete tour of inspection of all ports and repair facilities in France and has conferred with our Naval Authorities at these ports. It is believed that his visit will be very profitable to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service.

     14. PORTABLE REPAIR STATIONS.

     While the present and prospective repair ships with the assistance of such local facilities as are available will be able to meet demands of existent stations, nevertheless, the large prespective increase in U.S. Naval Forces in Europe renders it imperative not only that every effort be made to expedite the completion of the small repair ships above mentioned, but that other measures be considered.

     The importance of ensuring the maximum degree of mobility for our repair bases as well as placing minimum demands on tonnage is recognised. Hence as a mere measure of preparedness against possible future contingencies, it is considered important to look for further means of creating on short notice, new repair stations.

     It is therefore suggested that immediate steps be taken to prepare what might be termed “An advance base outfit” as regards repair facilities for small craft including destroyers. It is suggested that the assembly of such a portable shore repairing base, as nearly self-contained as possible, including not only machinery but necessary material and supplies, be undertaken at once.

     Such a station, which could be quickly erected or dismantled, might prove of great service on short notice in many possible contingencies which might arise particularly in the Mediterranean.

     Naval Constructor Smith24 is returning to the Department on special liaison duty in connection with the repair situation and will be prepared to advise as to the principal requirement of such a portable repair base.

     15. FUEL OIL.

     The demands for oil at Brest during the month of June will probably reach a total of 24,000 tons. The delivery of this quantity of oil has been arranged.

     One of the three 7,000 ton tanks in process of erection is due to be completed on or about the 15th instant. As soon as this is definitely learned arrangements will be made to divert U.S. tankers to Brest, thereby relieving the Admiralty of the necessity of transporting oil from Devonport and elsewhere in small tankers.

     The situation as regards gasoline for submarine chasers based on Corfu is causing some anxiety. Gasoline from the Far East is available but owing to lack of storage facilities it will be necessary to have a small tanker for transport between Sicily and Corfu. Every effort is being made to secure such a vessel.

COAL.

     The amount of coal required at Brest has increased heavily in the last few months, but no serious difficulties have been encountered in keeping up a stock sufficient for our needs.

     A rahther dangerous situation developed in the Azores recently, when the stock on hand fell to approximately one week’s supply. As the strike at Cardiff has now been settled, it is possible to secure coal from that point. The Admiralty despatched a vessel under date of the 6th instant with 5,000 tons to relieve the situation. It may, however, become necessary to call upon the Navy Department to continue their former practice of supplying coal from the United States. As it would be difficult for the Department to deal with this requirement, every effort will be made to obtain coal from British sources.

NEW STOREHOUSE AT BASE SIX.

     It is understood that work is going forward on the new storehouse at Base Six, and that this will provide with existing facilities, for all storage needs at Base Six.

SUBMARINE CHASER BASE, PLYMOUTH.

     It is the intent to accumulate a very considerable quantity of provisions and an ample store of miscellaneous supplies for the maintenance and operation of the submarine chasers and repair base.

     16. PLYMOUTH BASE.

     Plans are proceeding rapidly toward the converting of Victoria Wharfs and the adjoining property into a U.S. Naval Base primarily designed to support our submarine chasers. This base, however, will also be used for storage of excess supplies in order to provide against storage emergencies in case of loss of any of our store ships.

     Buildings are being prepared to house the necessary personnel and also the personnel of the submarine chasers in order to give them necessary rest while in port. Commander Cotton has taken command of this base.25

     There is enclosed copy of report of Commanding Officer PARKER concerning establishment of this base together with a circular giving partisulars of the base when in use for commercial purposes.26

     17. PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORDS OF WAR.

     It is suggested that a comprehensive plan be prepared for providing a photographic history of U.S. naval activities in this war. If practicable photographic outfits should be sent to all bases with perhaps enrolled men and skilled men to carry on the work.

     All bases in European Waters should be covered if possible.

     A circular letter from the Bureau of Navigation dated March 23 directed that photographs be taken at all bases but it is to be noted that this can only be done with such cameras as are possessed by individuals.27

     18. MOVING PICTURE FILMS.

     It is important to the morale of all forces that as many moving picture films as possible be furnished them. Up to date certain English firms in London have been furnishing a service of films to the Queenstown Base and recently this has been extended to the battleships in the Grand Fleet.

     A request has been received from Gibraltar which cannot be complied with from here.

     As Moving Pictures are much an excellent form of entertainment and a means of keeping before the men the world’s events and the spirit and activity of their home country it is hoped that some means can be found of supplying a service of specially selected films to all bases.

     Mr. Raymond Fosdick28 informs the Force Commander that he will be able to arrange for practically an unlimited service of films immediately upon his return to the United States.

     19. COOPERATION WITH BRITISH ADMIRALTY.

     There is enclosed for the Department’s information copies of correspondence between the Force Commander and the Admiralty and the Retiring Third Sea Lord, Rear Admiralty Lionel Halsey.29

     This correspondence is cited merely as an indication of the peculiar requirements of all staff duty performed abroad in co-operation with Allied Services. It is duty of a nature for which there was no peace training. It has been necessary to depart from all precedents, and to be governed by the greatest care in establishing and maintaining efficient relations between the Services. The British methods of administration are very notably different from ours.

     It is for the aboveb reasons that the Force Commander has so many times in the past in asking for officers for staff duty, laid stress upon particular types and personal characteristics, and upon the necessity of permanence of assignment.

     The entire staff look upon Admiral Halsey’s detachment with the deepest regret. His position as Third Sea Lord corresponds mostclosely to that commonly termed in the Department “Operations Material” He is the member of the Admiralty Board who co-ordinates all material activities of the Admiralty, even including the construction corps.

     It is apparent therefore that we have cnme [i.e., come] in contact with Admiral Halsey perhaps more than any other official of the Admiralty. It is to Admiral Halsey’s most efficient and prompt methods and complete co-operation practically as a brother officer, to which our success, such as it has been, has been largely due.

     I would prefer not to have Admiral Halsey’s personal letter given any publicity.

     20. Y.M.C.A. ACTIVITIES, LONDON.

     There is enclosed herewith a statement of the activities of the Y.M.C.A. “EAGLE HUT” in London which serves Canadian and U.S. sailors and soldiers on leave in London.30

     21. U.S. TUGS, ITALIAN WATERS.

     Forwarded hereunder is a report of operations from the Naval Attache, Home of the tugs NAHANT and PENOBSCOT.31

     22. LIASION SERVICE WITH ARMY.

     There is forwarded herewith for Department’s information copy of a letter received from Commander Roger Williams assigned to duty on General Persging’s staff.32 There have been numerous indications of the importance of assigning a naval officer to this duty.

     Since receipt of the letter in question a great deal of intelligence information which will be useful and enlightening to the Army Headquarters in the field, has been collected and forwarded by the Intelligence Section of this staff.

     23. MISCELLANEOUS.

     A second patrol squadron of fifty trawlers fitted with British fish hydrophones is expected to be ready for operation in about one month.

     The FURIOUS is now fitted exclusively as an aeroplane carrier for duty with the Grand Fleet.33

     It has been decided to continue sweeping in the mined area off the east coast of Scotland extending from a short distance north of the latitude of the Firth of Forth to the latitude off Peterhead. The enemy has been laying mines in this area rather frequently of late. It is not known just what the intention is. No vessels have been mined in this area.

     The number of times submarines have sighted other submarines without opportunity for attack is noteworthy. Also the number of encounters that have taken place without result compared to number of torpedoes used. As an example L-15 reports that within a short time she saw in the North Sea four enemy submarines, fired torpedoes at two of them and was fired at by one herself all without results.

     The CONQUEST and CASTOR have both been damaged by mines, but have gotten into port. The latter came in backwards at 8 knots under her own steam.34

     It would appear that submarines are again seriously embarrassed in using any of the channels of the Bight. This may be because the weather has prevented the dragging operations which always take place in order to ensure the safe exit of these vessels.35

     The number of submarines expected to be coming out by this time have not appeared. This may be due to the difficulties of sweeping above referred to. There is nothing to indicate that submarines are being retained in port for some special operation.

     Six tons of bombs were dropped on Zeebrugge and Bruges June 14 it is believed with good effect. The opinion was expressed in the Admiralty that Zeebrugge is not open to the passage of destroyers and submarines. This is not considered certain.36

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document identifier in top left-hand corner: “25/13/12” and below that “AC 22563.” Two paragraphs at the end of this report along with the signature are from a later report and have been mistakenly attached so they have not been included. It is not possible, therefore, definitely to establish the author of this report but as most were sent under Sims’ signature, the editors have tentatively assigned authorship to him.

Footnote 1: The submarine was U-151. See: William S. Benson to William S. Sims, 3 June 1918.

Footnote 2: That is Fife Ness, which is a headland forming the easternmost point of Fife, Scotland.

Footnote 3: The Dutch hospital ship Koningin Regentes was torpedoed on 6 June 1918, 21 nautical miles east of the Leman Lightship in the North Sea. Wrecksite, Accessed on 11 June 1918, https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?70926.

Footnote 4: Haisborough Sands, also called Haisbro Sands is in the English Channel near Norwich. The light ship is located at the northern tip of the sandbank.

Footnote 5: No German U-boats are listed as having been sunk the week ending 15 June. Kemp, U-Boats Destroyed: 50-51.

Footnote 6: Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Ireland.

Footnote 7: The letters from Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly are no longer with the report. One of them may have been: Bayly to Oswyn A. R. Murray, 10 June 1918.

Footnote 8: The report from which this paragraph was taken has not been found.

Footnote 9: On the visit of correspondent Henry Suydam and the Dutch journalists to Queenstown, see: Joel R. Poinsett Pringle to Sims, 11 June 1918. The “Creel Bureau” means that Suydam worked for the Committee on Public Information, which was headed by George Creel. The “Force Commander” was Sims.

Footnote 10: Whitepoint was located at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland.

Footnote 11: Because of issues with the local population, American seamen at Queenstown were restricted in their leaves. See: Sims to Daniels, 23 April 1918. The club at Queenstown was not completed before the war ended.

Footnote 12: Lt. Cmdr. George H. Laird.

Footnote 13: The summary of operations is no longer with the general report and has not been found.

Footnote 14: Adm. Sir David R. Beatty. For a fuller report on Sims’ trip, see: Sims to Benson, 14 June 1918.

Footnote 15: There is no evidence additional officers were sent to join VAdm. Hugh Rodman’s command.

Footnote 16: The mining bases at Inverness and Invergordon, Scotland, were for the North Sea mine barrage.

Footnote 17: Capt. Orin G. Murfin, who was in command of the mine depots. For more on his responsibilities, see, Northern Barrage: 62.

Footnote 18: Base 6 was at Queenstown, Ireland; Base 7 was at Brest, France; Base 25 was at Corfu, Greece; Base 9 was at Gibraltar; and Base 27 was at Plymouth, England. On the new policy calling for the liberal use of depth charges by destroyers in European waters, see: Sims Circular to All Forces, 19 April 1918.

Footnote 19: There was a torpedo repair force at both Queenstown, Ireland, but none seems to have been established in the Mediterranean. Supplement to the Navy List: 21 and 90-99.

Footnote 20: Base 17 was at Invergordon, Scotland and base 18 at Inverness, Scotland. Both bases supported the North Sea mine barrage project.

Footnote 21: Assembly at the bases reached 1,340 mines per day. Northern Barrage: 67.

Footnote 22: D-4s were floats that allowed the mines to be planted greater depths. Ibid., 15.

Footnote 23: Henry H. Raymond.

Footnote 24: Probably, Stuart F. Smith.

Footnote 25: Cmdr. Lyman A. Cotten. An American base was established at Plymouth, England.

Footnote 26: The report from the commander of the U.S. destroyer PARKER, Cmdr. Wilson Brown, Jr., has not been found.

Footnote 27: While there were official pictures taken during the war—see, for example The United States Navy in the World War, Official Pictures, there was nothing done to the scale suggested here.

Footnote 28: Fosdick was Chairman of the Commission on Training Camp Activities and was particularly concerned with moral hazards at training centers and promoting recreation facilities.

Footnote 29: Copies of this correspondence are no longer with the report.

Footnote 30: The statement concerning the activities of the Young Men’s Christian Association has not been found. However, the YMCA was charged with providing “amusement and recreation” for American servicemen “by means of its usual programme of social, physical, education, and religious services.” Pershing General Order #26-11-1. The Eagle Hut, which provided those services for American soldiers and sailors in London, was opened on 3 September 1917, and was staffed by some 800 volunteers.

Footnote 31: The report has not been found; NAHANT and PENOBSCOT were based in Genoa, Italy. The U.S. naval attaché in Italy was Capt. Charles A. Train.

Footnote 32: The letter from Williams, who was assigned as liaison to the staff of Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, has not been found.

Footnote 33: H.M.S. Furious was a cruiser converted into a “more or less satisfactory” aircraft carrier. Thomas C. Hone, Norman Friedman, and Marck D. Mandeles, American & British Aircraft Carrier Development, 1919-1941 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1999), 87.

Footnote 34: H.M.S. Conquest and H.M.S. Castor were British light cruisers.

Footnote 35: The Heligoland Bight is a bay on the North Sea. It was used by German submarines to get from their bases in Germany to their patrol positions off Great Britain.

Footnote 36: According to historian Stephen Prince, British coastal bombardment on 9 June closed the Zeebrugge canal until the end of June. Stephen Prince, The Blocking of Zeebrugge, Operation Z.O. 1918 (Oxford, England: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2010), 59.

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