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 Rear Admiral Henry B. Wilson, Commander, Patrol Force in France

CABLEGRAM SENT Oct. 26, 1917.

To   Ampat, Brest   Ser. No. 127

Via N C B 17 A D R

VERY SECRET

127. Ref. your 153. British destroyers report turning over 4 steamers including 3 of our storeships to one French sloop. These storeships were therefore required cross very dangerous water with wholly insufficient escort. At least 4 and preferably more escorts should have met these vessels. It is manifestly poor policy to heavily escort convoy for several hundred miles and then turn part of it over to weak escort as most dangerous water is reached and almost in sight of destination. American destroyers bring Hampton Roads and Sydney1 convoys to Brest. British destroyers bring New York convoys to assigned rendezvous. It is of utmost importance that these New York convoys when they contain our storeships should be heavily escorted, particularly as distance from rendezvous to destination is short and as area is dangerous and as small convoys are more liable to attack than big ones. Furthermore these convoys arrive only one in 8 days and can be carried either to destination direct or via Brest at your discretion.

Sims

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

Footnote 1: Sydney, Nova Scotia.

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