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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, United States Destroyers Operating from British Bases, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels


SENT: May 27,1917                      TO: Secretary of the Navy

THROUGH  State Department


          Returning London tomorrow1 for conference with Chief of Staff French Navy2 (stop) It is of particular importance that Captain Pratt be sent at earliest moment as Chief of Staff3 (stop) Situation is of such nature that success of operations and spirit of cooperation (coordination) might be endangered by an officer of wrong temperament4 and methods (stop) From extended experience with Captain Pratt I know him to be peculiarly well adapted to requirements of this situation (stop) In view of fact that strain of this position is not light and responsibility is heavy I request that selection of staff be based upon my estimate of my peculiar relations with officials of Allied Naval Forces ends


NO: OF COPIES   2                          REFERENCE NO

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517.

Footnote 1: Sims was in Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, where the American destroyers in European waters were based.

Footnote 2: The Chief of French Naval Staff was VAdm. Ferdinand Jean-Jacques de Bon.

Footnote 3: Pratt discussed Sims’ requests for him and the chance that he would be sent to London to join him in his letter to Sims of this date.

Footnote 4: Pratt’s biographer says that Sims meant anti-British. Wheeler, Pratt: 107.

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