Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Vice Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander, Southern Ireland

U.S.Naval Headquarters,

50 Grosvenor Gardens

London,SW.

August 8th, 1917.  

My dear Admiral,

     This is to acknowledge the receipt of the copy of your statement to the First Sea Lord concerning the situation at Queenstown.1

     As I mentioned in a note to the only niece,2 Admiral Jellicoe was very much impressed by this statement, and I know that the matter was taken up immediately with those concerned with a view to sending your reply at once.3

     Concerning the first paragraph of your statement regarding the advisability of your being informed directly of the departure of convoys, together with the probable sea speed, I understand that the Admiralty will take measures to see you are informed, but I do not know just how. Of course, I have nothing to do with the details of the handling of the mercantile convoys. I have however, the responsibility of ensuring secret and timely information reaching this side concerning our troop transports.

     The Navy Dept. has accepted all of the suggestions made in my letters on the subject. These letters are the ones which I sent you for your comments.4

     Briefly, the Navy Dept. agrees to inform me about two weeks in advance of the probable date of sailings of the convoy. When I get this information I will see that it is transmitted to you at once through the Admiralty.

     In addition, the Navy Dept. will telegraph me the day the convoy sails and the day that it will arrive at the standard meridian, and I will immediately inform you so that you can make dispositions to have the transports met at any point you may consider necessary on the line between the position that the convoy crosses the standard meridian and the port of destination. I believe this would be satisfactory to you, but if it is not please let me know any suggestions which your experience would indicate.

     I enclose a schedule of the proposed times of sailings of mercantile convoys from North America.5 This I got from at the Admiralty. I assume they must have sent you the same information.6

Very sincerely yours

Source Note: LT, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 23. There is a note in the top left-hand corner: “Admiral Sims/Personal File.” In the upper right-hand corner is the identifier in column: “13J.” Below the close the letter is addressed: “Vice Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly,/Admiralty House,/Queenstown, Ireland.”

Footnote 1: Bayly’s letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: Bayly’s niece, Miss Violet Voysey. Sims’ note to her has not been found.

Footnote 3: For the reply, see: Jellicoe to Bayly, 8 August 1917.

Footnote 4: Sims is referring to a number of letters in early August between Sims and Adm. William S. Benson concerning the operation of the convoy system here. See, for example: Benson to Sims, 1 August 1917; and Sims to Opnav, 6 August 1917.

Footnote 6: For Bayly's reply, see: Bayly to Sims, 10 August 1917.

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