Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters to Rear Admiral Leigh C. Palmer, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation
September 25th, 1917.
My dear Palmer,
Your letter of September 5th.1 reached me today, and I want to thank you for all the splendid co-operation you are giving up in the matter of supplying the personnel that we have so sadly needed on this side.
Before this reaches you you will have received our cables answering your questions as to the number of men we can undertake to train in the Flotilla and in barracks at Queenstown, We can put in training five hundred men in the Flotilla alone and one thousand men in the barracks which we can easily fit up.2
This pre-supposes of course that you give us the personal requested to handle and train these men in barracks. Of course the latter men will take their turn in training on the destroyers during their actual operations and this will enable us to give the men regularly attached to the destroyers a little more opportunity for a run on shore. They only get the latter when their ships come in for a five day overhaul and this happens only after they have steamed for five hundred hours at sea. Once every four months they have a ten day overhaul at Liverpool.3
As necessities for training men become greater, I am sure that we can manage to handle a larger number of men, though this might involve the building of temporary “huts” to use as barracks.
Of course if the war ends sooner than anybody now expects this would not be necessary; but if we do not provide for them now and the war does continue for a couple of years, we will not have them ready when they become urgently needed. I am of the opinion that we should all make out disposition now on the assumption that this war is going to last a long time. That is the only way to be safe.
Very sincerely yours,
P.S. Why should not the regulations be changed back again so as to allow commanders of fleets, squadrons, divisions, bureaus, etc. and perhaps captain of ships, to sign their last names. It would save a lot of time.
Source Note: TLS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 23. Addressed below close: “Rear Admiral L.C.Palmer, U.S.N./Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation,/Washington, D.C.” Document is from: “Admiral Sims/Personal File.” Document reference: “1/3/J.”
Footnote 1: See: Palmer to Sims, 5 September 1917.
Footnote 2: See: Sims to William S. Benson, 10 September 1917 and Joel R. Poinsett Pringle to Sims, 6 September 1917.
Footnote 3: For more on the situation in Liverpool, see: Sims to Josephus Daniels, 15 September 1917.