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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

19 April 1918.

From:-         Force Commander.

To:-           Secretary of the Navy – (Operations – Aviation).

Subject:-      Aviation – Report of Weekly Activities.

Enclosures:-   16 Photographs.1


     The Kite Balloon Pilots who have been receiving instruction at the Royal Naval Air Station, Roehampton, England, have been returned to Berehaven, Ireland, for duty at that station.2 It is contemplated that the latter station will be commissioned about April 29, 1918.3 The British Air Force will, however, retain a sufficient number of skilled personnel at that point until such time as we are fully prepared to relieve them.


     Construction work for the proposed stations in Ireland is progressing as satisfactorily as may be expected under the circumstances.4 Priority in construction has been given to the Seaplane Station at Loch Foyle5 at the request of the British Admiralty owing to the increased submarine activities off that part of the Irish Coast. This station is now sufficiently well advanced from a construction point of view to accommodate several seaplanes.

3.   FRANCE.

     Fromentine:-   Construction work in progress.  Nothing of interest to report.

     Dunkirk:- Usual enemy air raids and long distance shelling of station. No material damage. Officers and men co-operating completely with British Air Force stationed at Dunkirk.

     Moutchic:-     Total number of flights ..   139

                    Total time      ..  ..  ..    46 hrs. 5 mts.

                    Aircraft in service ..  ..     8

                    Aircraft out of service under

                       repair       ..  ..  ..     2

     Le Croisic:-   Total number of flights ..    16

                    Total time      ..  ..  ..    24 hrs.20 mts.

                    Total number of submarine

                       warnings received     ..   39


Total number of flights ..    2

                    Total time      ..  ..  ..    7 hrs.35 mts.

     There is nothing of interest to report from the remaining stations at which construction work is progressing in a most satisfactory manner.

WM. S. SIMS   

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The signature is a stamp. Document identifier in upper left-hand corner: “A-1.”

Footnote 1: The photographs referred to are no longer with this report.

Footnote 2: On the substandard performance of these American trainees, see Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat: 268-69. According to Rossano, the decision to send them to Ireland was in hopes that the American commander there, Cmdr. Francis B. McCrary could “sort them out.” Ibid., 269.

Footnote 3: The base at Castletownbere (Berehaven) was commissioned on 29 April 1918 but the base there “never did much active work [because of a] shortage of destroyers.” Ibid., 213.

Footnote 4: For more on the circumstances holding up construction, see: Joel R. Poinsett Pringle to Sims, 19 April 1918.

Footnote 5: That is, Lough Foyle, which was in northern Ireland, near Londonderry. The base was formally commissioned on 1 July. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat: 225.

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