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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the British Admiralty Sir Oswyn A. R. Murray

13th April, 1918.

From:     Force Commander.

To  :     The Secretary of the Admiralty.

SUBJECT :  Corfu: Shore Base at, for 36 U.S. Submarine Chasers.

     1.  In conference with Commodore Kelly, R.N.,1 in command of forces operating in Otranto Straits, it has been decided to base thirty-six American Submarine Chasers at Corfu. The point selected for the base and approved by Commodore Kelly is at the entrance to Cevino Bay.

     2.  After conference with the Deputy Director of Naval Stores, Admiralty,2 yesterday, it was suggested that the British Naval authorities at Corfu might be able to superintend certain construction work at the proposed base pending the arrival of the United States Naval Contingent.

     3.  The work contemplated provides for the construction of a small pier at the Base. The pier to be T-shaped, and extending from the shore for such distance as to provide for a depth of at least 8 feet at mean low water at the front of the pier, the front of the pier to be parallel to the shore, and to be approximately 100 feet in length.

     4.  It is further contemplated to install on shore five cylindrical steel tanks 9' x 30' for the purpose of the storage of gasoline. Those tanks are to be shipped from England, set up ready for installing. In view of the scarcity of labour at Corfu, the possibilities of obtaining labour from Malta more favourably considered.

     5.  As the first twelve of the submarine chasers will arrive shortly after the middle of May it is highly important that every possible effort be made to the end of having ready the projected outlined above in order that there may be no delay in the readiness of the boats to operate as soon as possible after their arrival at their base of operations.

     6.  The Force Commander will be pleased to be informed as to the assistance the British Admiralty may be in a position to render in connection with the subjects outlined in the foregoing.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 415. Identifier “M.1.” appears in the upper-left corner of both pages.

Footnote 1: William A. Howard Kelly, Commander, British Adriatic Force.

Footnote 2: G. H. Ashdown.

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