Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, Circular Letter to All Forces

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS,

U.S. .S. MELVILLE, Flagship.

London, England

April 11th, 1918.

CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 18

From: Force Commander.

To:  All Forces.

Subject: Depth Charge Policy.

Reference: (a) Force Commander’s letter of 7 Jan. 1918. on same subject.1

Inclosure 1. (a) Copy of Buord’s confidential letter 33432 (1) of 4 March 1918.2

     1.   Inclosure (a) is forwarded herewith for information.

     2.   British depth charges will be replaced by U.S. depth charges as rapidly as the latter become available. British depth charges will be retained as a reserve supply at the bases until sufficient shipments of U.S. depth charges have been received.

     3.   The safety of the U.S. depth charge from the dangers enumerated in reference (a) is not considered as definitely established, nor has the exact degree of susceptibility to those dangers been determined under all conditions that may arise. The U.S. depth charge should always be regarded as a high explosive requiring all practicable precautions as to safety. British depth charges are more sensitive than U.S. depth charges.

     4.   The Force Commander has requested the Navy Department to conduct further experimental tests with the U.S. depth charges and the result of these tests will be furnished when received.

Wm. S. SIMS.            

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Addressed below close: “Copies to:/Brest (50)/Gibraltar. (35)/MELVILLE. (50)/Aviation (Captain [Hutchinson I.] Cone) (1)/[Henry T. Mayo]C-in-C Atlantic Fleet (1)/Azores (15)/6th Battle Squadron. (10)/Files (10).”