Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Major General John J. Pershing, U.S.A., Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Force, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

G. H. Q. Apr. 10. ’171

AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES

OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL

Dear Admiral Sims:

     We have reached a point in handling tonnage that makes it necessary to consider the possibilities of other ports besides those we are now using.2 Our port facilities and the increase in rail transport are going to be delayed beyond the time when large additional tonnage is to be available. While realizing the objections, I think we shall be forced to seriously think of using Marseille[s], but before making a positive recommendation I would like to have your views.

     Col. Logan3 will present this letter and will explain our situation to you. I shall be glad if you can give me the benefit of your opinion after hearing what the problem is that we have to solve.4

     Thanking you in advance, and renewing my personal regard and esteem, I am as always,

Very Cordially,

          John J. Pershing

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 77. Following the close, the letter is addressed, “To Admiral Sims/ U.S.Navy/ Commanding U.S. Naval Forces/ in European Waters,/ London, England.”

Footnote 1: A typographical error, as the American Expeditionary Forces had not yet arrived in France on this date in 1917.

Footnote 2: The French ports currently in use were Pauillac, Bordeaux, St. Nazaire, Nantes, and Bassens.

Footnote 3: Col. James A. Logan, Jr., Assistant Chief of Staff.

Footnote 4: For Sims’ reply, see: Sims to Pershing, 13 April 1918.

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