Diary of Lieutenant Commander Joseph K. Taussig, Commander, Destroyer Division Eight
May 3 -
The past week have been a most uncomfortable one- For six days we traveled eastward with half a gale, the wind blowing steadily from SSE giving us a rough sea on our starboard beam. We have been steaming at 12 knots which was sufficient for the state of the sea, and we have been rolling so much the mess table has not been set up since April 25th- We have been holding our plates on our laps-
On April 30 we had to stop for three and a half hours while the Wainwright opened her main condenser and located and stopped a leak- We had to do the same thing again this morning. This makes a total of 10 hours that we have been delayed on account of necessary repairs- It might have been much worse. And the weather might have been much worse- And the weather might have been much worse also for if the wind and the rain had come from ahead instead of from abeam, we would have had a much more miserable and uncomfortable time, and we would have had to slow down materially-
We sighted several steamers which undoubtedly will report us sooner or later- One ship stopped and I thought it possible that she might be a German raider so hoisted the signal for general quarters.
Day before yesterday while it was quite hazy, the big Adriatic of the White Star line hove in sight quite close- She started to run away, but when we hoisted our colors, she resumed her course and dipped her colors in salute as she passed-
Yesterday we were in radio communication with H.M.S. Parthian which ship has evidently had been sent out to meet us. We exchanged several messages in regard to position course and speed, using a special code provided for that purpose. The Parthian failed to find us before dark so he sent a message that he would steam same course and speed during night and pick us up at day-break- But it was hazy and the visibility poor so she failed to find us. Then when we stopped for the Wainwright to repair condenser- I sent the Porter, Conyngham, McDougal and Davis out five miles to try to find the Parthian but they were unsuccessful. Later in the day as we were proceeding, the British destroyer Mary Rose fell in with us and remained with us as escort. She hoisted the international signal “Welcome to the American Colors”, and the Wadsworth answered: “Thank you”, “I am glad of your company.”
The sea is now smooth and we are proceeding at 15 knots. We should arrive at Queenstown tomorrow afternoon. I have been wondering if it is generally known there that a division of American destroyers are en route-
Source Note: D, RNW, Joseph K. Taussig Papers, Mss. Coll. 97, Naval Historical Collection. The diary is written on ruled paper with a vertical line one inch in along the left margin. The place and date is written in that space. It is repeated when the diary entry continues on a second page. On the second occasion, Taussig initially wrote “Wednesday” but then crossed it through and wrote “Thursday” immediately below followed by the date.