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Rear Admiral William S. Sims to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

SENT:   22 April, 1917.  TO:  Navintel  NO. 23023.

for Sec. Navy.


     Destroyers proceed any desired course till arrive at latitude 50 North Longitude 20 West where should arrive daybreak and thence proceed to 50 North twelve West and from there to Queenstown is the Admiralty’s advice.

     They should call GCK and inform Vice Admiral Queenstown1 their speed course and position in case they have memorandum C and the British General Service code.2 In case have no British code they will be met between the positions hereinbefore explained. Outside Queenstown they will be met in either case. Cable call and name of senior ship also probable date arrival at first position.


Source Note: C, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517. For background on this cable, see: Benson to Sims, 22 April 1917. These instructions were incorporated almost verbatim in the orders given to Joseph Taussig, the commander of the destroyer division. See: Daniels to Taussig, 23 April 1917.

Footnote 1: Vice Admiral Lewis Bayly.

Footnote 2: In his memoirs, Taussig mentions that they were able to communicate with Parthian, the British destroyer sent to meet and escort them “using a special code provided for the purpose.” The American destroyer never did find Parthian. Instead they were accompanied to port by a destroyer they encountered by chance. See: Diary of Commander Joseph K. Taussig, entry of 3 May 1917.

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