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 Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske

August 9th. 1918.

My dear Fiske,

          Your letter with enclosures1 concerning the dropping of torpedoes from aeroplanes, and so forth, has just been received, and I have turned it over to the Planning Section for information as to what has been done in this line in the Allied Navy. When this comes in, I will drop you a line and tell you the result. You may be sure that the whole question of bombing out the bases of the German Navy has been a matter of very earnest consideration. Aeroplanes are now building that will carry six tons of bombs, some of these five hundred and some of one thousand lbs. Some of these planes have been built and are under trial. They will fly for fifteen hours at a speed of one hundred miles per hour. These are the first planes that will be able to reach the naval bases of the enemy, remain some time, and get back again. Whether or not these will be as effective as torpedoes, I do not know.2

          There is of course no opportunity to get a whack at the German ships froma distance of four or five thousand yards for the simple reason that nothing but mine draggers, and so forth, go out into the open sea.

          However, I will drop you a line when I get the necessary information on this point.3

                   Very sincerely yours,

Source Note: LT, DLC-MSS, Williams Sims Papers, Container 24. Address after close: “Rear Admiral B.Fiske/128 West Fiftyninth Street,/NEW YORK. U.S.A.”

Footnote 1: This letter and its enclosures have not been located.

Footnote 2: Sims is presumably referring to the Felixstowe F-5, a British variation of the Curtiss H-16 flying boat that possessed greater endurance than the H-16, carried more armament, and had twice the bomb load. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat, 170.

Footnote 3: This letter has not been located.

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