Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Navy Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander, Naval Forces, Southern Ireland
December 10th. 1917
My dear Admiral,
Last night at 9 o’clock I returned to London after being absent since November 27th. It would take many pages for me to tell you of the activities of the mission and its various branches while in Paris, but I am sure you will be glad to hear that I believe that the coming of this Mission of ours, and the results of its work, will be of very considerable importance to the Allied cause.
Everything which we have recommended since the month of April has now been recommended by the Mission, or will be pushed there as soon as they arrive in Washington, which will be about the 16th. or 17th.
Admiral Benson is so thoroughly convinced of our necessities on this side that he declares he will send over every destroyer that can get across the ocean under her own power or by being towed. He will also send over all the other vessels that we have asked for as soon as they can possibly be despatched. This, including, I believe, eighteen powerful sea-going tugs.
All members of the commission have expressed themselves as very well satisfied with the activities the find on this side, and are all determined to give us all the help they can in all respects.
Of course I find on my desk a large mass of business that has accumulated during my absence but I don’t see anything in the way at present to prevent me accepting your kind invitation to be with you on Christmas. However, in my peculiar position there is no certainty about anything very far in the future.
While in France I went with Admiral Benson to visit our bases at Brest, St. Nazaire and Bordeaux, and also the Air Stations now being built. Two of the latter are in operation. I believe this visit will result in a better understanding between our forces at Brest and the forces operating elsewhere.
It was while at Brest that I received the distressing news of the loss of Bagley’s boat the JACOB JONES. At present we know that five officers and thrityeight men were saved, and that one boat is still missing. I sincerely hope that more of the people will be accounted for later. I am glad indeed to hear that my friend Bagley was saved with nearly all the officers.
Please give all my best love to the ONLY NIECE and believe me,
Very sincerely yours,
Source Note: TL, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, box 47. Following the close, the letter is addressed, “Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly,/Admiralty House,/Queenstown, Ireland”.