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 Major General John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces

U.S.Naval Headquarters,      

30, Grosvenor Road,     

LONDON, August 11, 1917.

My dear General,

     I have just received your letter of August 4,1 in which you say that “the organization of the line of communications here has reached the point where it needs a naval representative of experience on the staff of the commanding general, and one naval officer at each of the ports of Bordeaux and Saint Nazaire.”

     I now have at Bordeaux and Saint Nazaire, and also at Brest, officers who are in charge of bases and under the direction of Captain Fletcher,2 who commands the patrol forces on the French coast These officers will co-operate with you in anything that has to do with the arrival of troops and their supplies.

     My naval representative in Paris is Captain Jackson,3 whose office is in the Ministry of Marine. I should think that by putting your people in touch with him, he would be able to give you all the assistance that would be necessary. He is, as you know, in constant touch with me.

     Of course, I may have misunderstood the requirements of the officer you mention on your staff. If so, will you please let me know, after taking up the matter with Captain Jackson.4

     There are no naval officers over here whom I can assign to any duty entirely seaparat separated from that which they are now performing. But if there is a necessity for some officer to be exclusively employed on your staff, I think there is no doubt that one could be gotten from America. So if you will let me know your requirements I will do the very best I can to see that they are fulfilled.

Very sincerely yours,        

Source Note: TL, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B, Addressed below close: “General John J. Pershing/American Expeditionary Force,/Office of Commanding General/Paris, France.” Document from: “Admiral Sim’s Personal File.”

Footnote 2: Capt. William B. Fletcher.

Footnote 3: Capt. Richard H. Jackson.

Footnote 4: Sims later issued orders to this effect on 19 September 1917. See, Sims to Jackson, 19 September 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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