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 Lieutenant Commander Frank D. Berrien, Commander, U. S. S. Nicholson

December 10th, 1917.

My dear Berrien,

          I just wish to let you know that both I and all the people here in the office remarked and very much appreciated the manner in which you handled the situation in connection with the sinking of the submarine by the FANNING.1 This appeals to me as officer-like conduct of the nicest style. I am sure you know what I mean. You were the Senior Officer Present on the spot and could have taken charge but you turned it over to the Captain of the FANNING. It is exactly what I would have expected you to do.

          I hope that you will have the luck to get one of these pirates one of these days.

              Very sincerely yours,

Source Note: LT, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 49. Following the close, the letter is addressed, “Commander F.D. Berrien, U.S.N./U.S.S. Nicholson,/Queenstown.”

Footnote 1: Nicholson was on patrol with FANNING on 17 November 1917 when the two destroyers encountered the German submarine U-58. As Sims notes above, during the course of the engagement, FANNING and its commanding officer, Lt. Arthur S. Carpender, took the lead in this engagement, which ended with the sinking of the submarine and the capture of 35 members of the submarine’s crew and four of its officers. For accounts of this engagement, see: Carpender to Sims, 18 November 1917, and Diary of Angus W. Wiggins, 17 November 1917.