Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Joel R. Poinsett Pringle, Chief of Staff, Destroyer Flotillas, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS,

DESTROYER FLOTILLAS.

U.S.S. MELVILLE, FLAGSHIP.

BASE SIX, [Queenstown, Ireland]

22 August, 1918

My dear Admiral:

               I am just in receipt of a note from Admiral Bayly1saying that you had told him that I had asked you to put Cork out of bounds, and also, certain houses in Queenstown, etc., and further, that you had said you did not understand this request on my part. I write at once to explain to you that in the first place I find that, due to the changing and increasing personnel at the Base and the occasional incidents of men being found out of bounds that arise, I thought it well to compile into one letter the rules and regulations governing liberty for all the units at this Base.2 I accordingly prepared this letter and since I have given therein a list of certain public houses and have stated the limits of liberty for Aghada (this Aghada liberty had already been submitted to Admiral Bayly and approved by him), I thought it well to send the whole up to Admiral Bayly to find out whether the limits as prescribed therein were those which he approved, and accordingly I thought that I had done so. Two days ago, I discovered that the letter had been sent to you 3 instead of to Admiral Bayly, and I accordingly prepared another copy and sent it up to Admiral Bayly for his inspection and approval.

               In thinking the matter over, it occurs to me that it would be well if you would see fit to approve this in any case, because, sometime ago my attention was called to the fact that, in all cases of court-martial it should specified that, where a man had visited some place which was declared out of bounds, it should be stated that he had violated the order of the Commander, U.S. Destroyer Flotillas. I hope this letter will make the situation clear to you, and I will immediately write Admiral Bayly and explain the matter to him. At present, he seems to think that I have requested you to issue orders which, of course, he himself has already issued. The object of this letter was simply to secure me against laying down any restrictions that did not square with those now in force. The latter itself is, in fact, a compilation of the various and sundry orders which have been issued from time to time regulating liberty.

               Hepburn and his submarine chasers4 have arrived and we are now in process of getting them straightened out, and giving Hepburn a place for his administration work. I believe that all this will be successfully accomplished in a short time and anticipate no trouble in looking out for them while they are here.

               Thank you very much for your last letter.

                              Very sincerely yours,

J.R. Poinsett Pringle

Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Container 79. Document identifier: “File” in top left corner and “C-4 in top right corner. On stationery, address below close.

Footnote 1: Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Ireland.

Footnote 2: For more context on civil-military relations in Queenstown and Cork, Ireland, see: Sims to Sims, 7 May, 1917; Sims to Daniels, 11 September, 1917; Bayly to Sims, 25 October, 1917.

Footnote 3: Document not found.

Footnote 4: Capt. Arthur J. Hepburn, Commander, Submarine Chasers based at Queenstown.

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