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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Commanders of Submarine Chaser Detachments

16th August 1918.

From: Force Commander

TO:  Commander Sub Chaser Detachments One, Two and Three.

SUBJECT:  Employment of Sub. Chasers.

     1.   It is the desire of the Force Commander that the following principles shall, in general, govern the employment of submarine chasers:-

(a) That they shall be used for hunting submarines in areas where submarines are most likely to be encountered.

(b) That they shall not be used for escort or similar duty except in cases of emergency.

(c) That the Detachment Commander be left as free as may be to determine the tactics of their operations.

(d) That, as far as possible, their time shall be divided equally between operation at sea and rest periods in port.

(e) That while in port there shall be no “stand by” groups that will limit the freedom which the personnel might otherwise enjoy during their rest period.

(f) That, as far as possible, emergencies shall be met by communicating information to groups already at sea.1

     2.   These forces, like all other U.S. Naval Forces in these waters, operate under the direct military control of the Senior Allied Commander Present.

WM. S. SIMS.       

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “25-9-16/0.4.28956.”

Footnote 1: Many of the suggestions here arose out of complaints from submarine chaser commanders over needlessly harsh treatment from Capt. Lyman A. Cotten, Commander, United States Naval Base at Plymouth, England. See: Leigh to Sims, 14 August 1918.

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