Captain Nathan C. Twining, Chief of Staff, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
22 December 1917
From :-Commander U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.
To :-The Secretary of the Navy (Operations - Aviation).
Subject:- Aviation.Weekly Report of Operations.
The fifteen student Airship pilots qualified in two days and are now making solo flights in the SS Zero type Airships.1Groundwork and general utility students continue to make good progress.
Fifteen enlisted personnel of the U.S.Navy are being trained in the Observers Course.They will complete this course about 1 February when they will be returned to France.
Three commissioned officers of the U.S.Naval Reserve Force have been accepted for acrobatic training.
Lieutenant Z. Landsdowne,U.S.N.will proceed on December 27 to the R.N.A.S. Pelham,England for further instruction in the rigid type of Airship and for actual work in the anti-submarine patrol.2
Satisfactory work in progress on the proposed Stations.
Nightly bombing raids by enemy aeroplanes render construction and assembly work difficult.Work is progressing as well as can be expected,however,under the circumstances.All personnel are obliged to live in dugouts as protection from enemy bombs.
Machines received to date at this Station include six Henriots and two Donnet Denhauts.These machines,however,lack every detail of the necessary armament with the exception of the synchronizing gear.Ordnance material is being supplied as rapidly as it can be assembled.
Total number of flights per week ... ... ... 191
ʺ Time ... ... ... ... ... ... ...62 hours 19 min.
Routine patrol flights with nothing of special interest to report
Total number of flights per week... ... ...12
ʺ time ... ... ... ... ... ... ...7 hours 20 min.
Accommodations have been made available for 500 men
Constructional work on additional French stations progressing satisfactorily.
Chief of Staff.
Signed for Vice Admiral Sims3
in his absence.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.
Footnote 1: The SSZ (Sea Scout Zero) airships were non-rigid airships that Britain developed during the war to escort convoys and aid in the scouting and searching for submarines.
Footnote 2: Zachary Lansdowne was an early aviator for the United States Navy who played an important role in developing the Navy’s first lighter-than-air craft. Lansdowne was assigned to duty with the Royal Naval Airforce during the war to study dirigibles.
Footnote 3: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.