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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Captain Joel R. Poinsett Pringle, Commander, Destroyer Flotilla, Queenstown

December 11th. 1917.

My dear Pringle,

     Referring to your letter of December 6th. enclosing a letter from Earle about the repair and testing station for torpedoes, I have just written him a letter covering this subject, and enclose herewith a copy.1

     As I hope to be in Queenstown before very long, we will talk this whole matter over as well as many other things that concern the Queenstown forces.

     I have just received a letter from the Admiralty concerning the Balloon station at Berehaven. I understand that that location was selected when we were still on patrol service, before the escort system was completely decided upon. Of course it would be handier to have the Station at Queenstown and it may be the Admiralty will find it possible to put one there, but their present decision is that, due to lack of material they will not be able to install such a station at Queenstown in the immediate future. While the station at Berehaven will be unhandy still I think it could be used to very considerable advantage with the inconvenience of having a destroyer stop in there for a balloon as an escort goes to the westward to meet a convoy.2

     Many thanks for the interesting notes drawn up by Campbell and by the Commander-in-Chief concerning the “Q” ship service. I will be very much interested indeed to see how this new venture of ours works out.3 We will talk it all over when I come out to Queenstown.

Very sincerely yours,        

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 79. Addressed below close: “Captain J.R.P.Pringle, U.S.N./U.S.S. MELVILLE./Queenstown.”

Footnote 1: Pringle’s letter to Sims of 6 December, and the letter from Pringle to RAdm. Ralph Earle, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, has not been found.

Footnote 2: A flying-boat base was established at Queenstown, and a kite-balloon station was established at Berehaven. For an example of a destroyer towed kite-balloon, see: Photograph of a Destroyer Towing a Kite-Balloon.

Footnote 3: Adm. Lewis Bayly, R.N. and Capt. Gordon Campbell, R.N. Their thoughts on “Q” ships, armed merchant vessels designed to trap submarines, have not been found. For more the American “Q” Ship Santee, see: Sims to Lewis Bayly, 3 November 1917.