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 Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

Cablegram Sent 15 Aug 1917.

To: Opnav Washington:                       Ser No. 260

Via NCB                                     File 4-1-22

Number two hundred and sixty.

Jackson1 reports quote progress in training student pilots and installation of bases and schools has now reached such a point that information of date of arrival of materials is necessary to formulate plans for beginning operations and distribution of personnel stop Land transportation and boats especially necessary stop Indications of Department’s probable action on recommendations2 installations eight seaplane bases is necessary for co-operation with French plans now being developed for air offensive against submarines. Local results in July very encouraging. Aviation officers needed immediately to take charge of stations already under construction. Energetic and general employment of air patrol earnestly advocated by French and now being developed our co-operation greatly needed and desired unquote3

Sims

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

Footnote 1: Capt. Richard H. Jackson, American Naval Representative to the Ministry of Marine.

Footnote 3: Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels later approved the establishment of the necessary aviation stations, including an additional one at Brest. Jackson's efforts as reported in this cable were part of an attempt by Jackson to take control of the American naval aviation program in France. While Sims approved of Jackson's actions, he ultimately decided that Cmdr. Hutchinson I. Cone would oversee aviation in France. See, Daniels to Sims, 24 August 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B; and Romano, Stalking the U-Boat, 21-6.

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