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 Anne Hitchcock Sims

[Extract]

Hotel de Crillon, Paris

Dec. 3, 1917 (Monday).

My darling Nani,

     We are still busy. Saturday evening a whole sleeping car full of us left for Bordeaux—including Ad. B., Genl. Bliss, Mr. (Now Col.) Attaberry, (Penna R.R. man who married the sister of Marion Sims’ husband)(He manages transportation for the army), Cone, Babby, Blakeslee,1 and a number of army officers and “strikers” We reach Bordeaux Sunday morning. 7 o’clock. Ad. B. went to service in the catholic cathedral, then after breakfast we visited two “air stations” that were 25 miles apart and 25 miles from Bordeaux. The first one visited is to be Cones great assembling station. It will have a shop 260 feet wide by 600 feet long, and he station will supply 1500 men. The second one we visited was a training station for aviators. There were 250 men and two dozen officers. We had lunch with the latter and saw some experimental flying. This station is in a sandy pine wood on the border of a beautiful lake a few miles in diameter. After returning to Bordeaux we went down the river to see the big army docks and camp now under construction. It is great pity these could not have been built long ago. At 10-30 p.m. we left B. and arrived in Paris at 9 this morning. The details of the plans for the future are still in doubt. All I know yet is that the final meeting of the conference takes place this afternoon at 3, and that we all dine with the President (of the Republic)2 this evening.

     Col. A, Genl. Bliss, Ad. B. and some others are going to the American camp tomorrow morning and returning the same evening. Then, if the Col is not in too big a hurry to get away, Ad. B. will go to Brest, St. Nazaire, etc—and I will go with him. I do not expect to go to the camp. I am more than glad that Ad. B. came over here, but all the same I will be very glad to settle down to my regular duties. . . .

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 9. Document is on: “EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” stationary.

Footnote 1: Adm. William S. Benson, Gen. Tasker H. Bliss, U.S.A., Col. William Wallace Atterbury, U.S.A., Cmdr. Hutchinson I. Cone, Cmdr. John V. Babcock, Lt. Cmdr. Edward G. Blakeslee

Footnote 2: President of the French Republic Raymond Poincaré.

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