Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

 

London, ENGLAND.

30, August 1917.

From:    Commander in Chief.

To  :    Secretary of the Navy (OPERATIONS)

SUBJECT:    Naval Mission: progress of.

     1.   In obedience to the Department’s orders the Commander-in-Chief took passage from New York, N.Y. in the S.S. ST. LOUIS of the American Line, sailing from New York on 18 August for Liverpool, England.

     2.   The following members of the Commander-in-Chief’s Staff accompanied him: Captain O. P. Jackson, Commander E. J. King, Commander D. C. Bingham, Lieutenant Commander A. B. Cook, Lieutenant Commander Leigh Noyes, Lieutenant H. W. McCormack, Naval Constructor W. G. DuBose, Paymaster J. H. Hatch1 and six enlisted men.

     3.   Every effort was made to keep the departure secret and the officers of the party travelled in civilian clothes under assumed names.

     4.   ST. LOUIS carried a double armed guard of two officers and sixty two men. Three radiomen from the PENNSYLVANIA were attached to the armed guard and stood continuous watch throughout the passage. Every possible accommodation and facility were afforded the Commander-in-Chief by Captain Hartley2 of the ST. LOUIS and his officers.

     5.   The passage was uneventful with weather mostly good and no enemy vessels sighted.

     6.   At 7 a.m., 26 August, contact was made with SAMPSON of the destroyer escort sent out to meet ST. LOUIS, joined shortly after by CUSHING, NICHOLSON and FANNING. Commander Hanrahan,3 commanding CUSHING, commanded the escort which accompanied the ST. LOUIS to the mouth of the Mersey.4  

     7.   ST. LOUIS anchored in Liverpool harbor at 9 p.m. 26 August, B.S.T. and message was received from Rear Admiral Sir Dudley DeChair that he was in Liverpool to welcome the Commander-in-Chief to England and to escort him to London the following morning. Vice Admiral W. S. Sims, U.S.N., accompanied Admiral DeChair.5

Monday, 27 August.

     8.   ST. LOUIS berthed at Liverpool morning of 27 August and at 10 a.m. calls were received by the Commander-in-Chief from Rear Admiral Sir Dudley DeChair, the Lord mayor of Liverpool, Vice Admiral Sims, the Naval Attache, Rear Admiral Harry H. Stileman, Senior British Naval Officer at Liverpool and Brigadier General Edwards,6 Commanding troops at Liverpool and aides to the above.

     9.   At 10:30 a.m. the Commander-in-Chief and Staff left Liverpool for London in a special Government train accompanied by Admiral DeChair and his Staff, Vice Admiral Sims and his Staff, and the U.S. Naval Attache.

     10.  Arrived London at 2:30 p.m. where the party was met at Euston Station by the American Ambassador,7 Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, and Rear Admiral Allen Everett, Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty. Commander-in-Chief and Staff were quartered at the Carlton Hotel as guests of the British Admiralty.

     11.  Commander-in-Chief called on the American Ambassador and on the First Lord and the First Sea Lord at the Admiralty.8

Tuesday, 28 August.

     12.  Commander in Chief attended at the Admiralty the exposition of a proposed plan for offensive operations looking to blocking of German Bases. Later attended at a meeting at which Admirals Jellicoe, Mayo, Beatty and Sims engaged in preliminary discussion of certain points brought up by Admiral Jellicoe, resulting in the First Sea Lord sending a dispatch to French, Italian and Russian Admiralties giving points for discussion at conference to be held 4 September, also in Admiral Mayo sending a dispatch to OPERATIONS concerning sending of submarines and monitor tender to Azores and then sending PANTHER and Destroyer Division One to operate from Brest.9

     13.  Admiral Mayo and Staff and Vice Admiral Sims and Staff were guests of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty at an official dinner at the Hotel Ritz in honor of Admiral Mayo. Admiral Sir David Beatty, Commander in Chief of the British Grand Fleet were also present. Sir Eric Geddes, First Lord of the Admiralty, in a most friendly speech expressed the appreciation of the British Government of the co-operation of the United States in the war and particularly of the visit of our Naval Mission. Admiral Mayo responded.

Wednesday, 29 August.

     15.  Day occupied in obtaining and discussing data from Admiralty by members of Staff.

     16.  Commander-in-Chief dined with the American Ambassador at the Embassy, the First Lord and the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty also being present.

Thursday, 30 August.

     17.  Day occupied in obtaining and discussing data from Admiralty by members of Staff.

     18.  OpNav dispatch 19029 was received and after a visit to Admiralty a reply was sent in CinC dispatch 19030.10

     19.  Commander-in-Chief dined with the First Sea Lord.

     20.  The reception accorded the Commander-in-Chief and Staff by the British Admiralty has been markedly appreciative, and there has been evidenced an unmistakable desire on the part of the Admiralty to furnish all information that they possess which will be of any possible assistance. A most satisfactory spirit of friendly co-operation has developed.

(Sgd.) H. T. MAYO.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Cmdr. Orton P. Jackson, Chief of Staff, Atlantic Fleet, Lt. Cmdr. Ernest J. King, Assistant to Chief of Staff, Atlantic Fleet, Lt. Cmdr. Donald C. Bingham, Fleet Gunnery Officer, Atlantic Fleet, Lt. Arthur B. Cook, Flag Officer, Atlantic Fleet, Lt. Leigh Noyes, Communications Officer, Atlantic Fleet, Lt. Harvey W. McCormack, Fleet Radio Officer, Atlantic Fleet, Naval Constructor William G. DuBose, Fleet Naval Consturctor, Atlantic Fleet, and Paymaster John F. Hatch, Paymaster, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: Capt. Herbert Hartley.

Footnote 3: Lt. Cmdr. David C. Hanrahan.

Footnote 4: A river near Liverpool, Great Britain.

Footnote 5: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, and Adm. Dudley R. S. DeChair, Secretary of the Royal Navy.

Footnote 6: The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Sir John Utting, RAdm. Harry H. Stileman, and Brig. Gen. Richard Fielding Edwards.

Footnote 7: Walter Hines Page.

Footnote 8: Sir Eric Geddes and Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe, respectively.

Footnote 10: These dispatches have not been found.

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