Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, Commander, Oklahoma, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
UNITED STATES SHIP Oklahoma
30 August 1918
My dear Sims;-
Your letter just received. I want to let you know how much I appreciate your stating you would indeed be glad to have me for duty on this side. Long likewise is very much pleased. At the same time I want you to know that when I wrote you it was with the belief that you wanted me over here or had been consulted and I was agreeable to you; I took it for granted that I would not have been sent over here otherwise. I feel that you should be allowed to choose those you want to carry out your policies.
As I did not know until the day before we sailed that I was promoted naturally I had not consulted every one regarding my future. Further, I did not and do not know the Department’s plans. If those “who sit next to the dealer” are working the plans I do not feel as safe as when I thought you were handling the game. I will hope to hear from you soon when you get news.
We have such a lot to do that for the present I do not think we will find our time hang heavy on our hands. Of course too it is war so one does not expect anything more than the four or two hour notice.
Again Long and I thank you for your “cheer up.” And I hope we may see you this way very soon. Always with best regards,
Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, Williams Sims Papers, Container 50. Written below the close, “Mark L. Bristol, Captain, U. S. N.” The letter is on U.S.S. Oklahoma stationary, and includes the ship’s logo.