Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Joel R. Poinsett Pringle, Chief of Staff, Destroyer Flotillas, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

29 April [1918]         

UNITED STATES SHIP MELVILLE

My dear Admiral:-

          I consider the enclosed a very accurate statement of the situation as it exists–1 It was prepared by request and I induced the author to give me a copy- He said that I might send it to you if I told you at the same time that he would prefer that you kept it secret and did not refer to it in conversation- Also that you should only show it to those who are closet to you- He says that the situation is so delicate now, that the existence of this document and its authorship, if known, might cause a lot of trouble.

I am in receipt of a letter from Mr Paine dated 7 April from Durham, New Hampshire-2 He tells me that he has it on the best authority that no change is contemplated in my case or in that of the Suptdt [Superintendent] of the Naval Academy- He says that when E.3 applied for sea duty he was told that Annapolis needed him more- For the present, at least, I think there is no chance of a bust up. I told Admiral B.4 about the letter and he expresses himself as being mighty pleased-

I sent you by Daniels a note about Berry’s future employment-5 I think he should not under any circumstances be employed here again-

Please excuse this scrawl- The jessamine got one big sardine last week-6

Very sincerely               

J.R.Poinsett Pringle         

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 79.

Footnote 1: This enclosure is no longer with Pringle’s letter.

Footnote 2: Ralph D. Paine worked for the Committee on Public Information and the U.S. Navy. In 1918 his essays were collected in a book, The Fighting Fleets; Five Months of Active Service with the American Destroyers and their Allies in the War Zone (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1918). Paine’s letter to Pringle has not been located.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Edward W. Eberle. Eberle did not replace Pringle and remained as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy until 1919.

Footnote 4: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 5: Cmdr. Robert L. Berry. For more on his situation see: Sims to Leigh C. Palmer, 29 April 1918. Pringle’s note to Sims has not been located. “Daniels” was Sims’ aide, Joseph F. Daniels.

Footnote 6: With the assistance of the U.S.S. Cushing, H.M.S. Jessamine, a British Navy sloop, depth charged and sunk a German submarine, U-104, in St. George’s Channel on 25 April 1918. Kemp, U-Boats Destroyed: 47.