Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Liuentenant Commander Henry D. Cooke, Commanding Officer, U. S. S. Allen, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

U.S.S. Allen            

8 April, 1918.         

From: Commanding Officer.

To  : Force Commander.

Subject:  Report on escort of H.M.S. Teutonic, H.M.S. Adriatic and S.S. St. Paul.

          1.   I have to report as follows upon the escort of H.M.S. Teutonic, H.M.S. Adriatic, and S.S. St. Paul, from Liverpool on 6 April, 1918.

          2.   The destroyer escort, consisting of the U.S.S. Allen (Senior Ship), PAULDING, BEALE and McCALL arrived off Bar Light Vessel by 8:00 pm., 6 April.

          3.   At 9:30 p.m. the convoy assembled one half mile south of Bar Light Vessel and at 10.15 p.m. stood out to sea via swept channel, formation column in the following order, Teutonic (Senior ship) Capt. O.H. Hawke-Gunn, R.N.,1 leading, followed by the St. Paul and Adriatic. Speed 17 knots.

          4.   When clear of swept channel a prearranged whisle signal was made to form line, with Teutonic in the center, the St.Paul on the right flank and the Adriatic on the Left flank. The destroyer escort was given positions as follows:- Allen right front, PAULDING left front, BEALE right flank, McCALL left flank.

          5.   The St. Paul apparently disregarded her orders and proceeded independently, disappearing finally in the darkness several miles ahead of convoy. She was accompanied by the U.S.S. PAULDING.

          6.   At 2.28 a.m., 7 April, the following message was received by the Allen from the Teutonic “ One engine broke down .” One destroyer stay with me, other two proceed with convoy.” The Teutonic had by this time slowed to 13 knots, with the Allen accompanying her. The Adriatic and St. Paul continued with the remainder of the destroyer xxxxxx escort.

          7.   At 4.50 a.m., the Teutonic completed repairs and increased speed to seventeen knots. At daylight, the Adriatic and St. Paul were out of sight ahead, the St. Paul being escorted by the PAULDING, the Adriatic by the BEALE and McCALL.

          8.   The vessels of the convoy were escorted singly by destroyers to assigned off shore positions, after which the destroyers returned to Queenstown, arriving during the afternoon of 7 April.

          9.   Attention is invited to the action of the St. Paul in disregarding orders and leaving convoy, which necessarily separated the escort and increased the danger from a successful submarine attack.

H.D. COOKE.            

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Destroyer Ship Files, Allen, folder 2.

Footnote 1: Cmdr. Otto H. Hawke-Gunn.

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