Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
R. 1st December, 1917.
From: Force Commander
To: The Secretary of the Navy (Operations – Aviation)
Subject: Aviation – Weekly Report of Operations.
Lieutenant Z. Lansdowne, U.S.N. has been transferred from the R.N.A.S. Station Cranwell to the R.N.A.S. Polgate, Sussex for further instruction in the operation of airships.1
The following officers have reported to the Commanding Officer of the R.N.A.S. Station Felixstowe:-2
Lieutenant C.T. Hull, U.S.N. to observe administration of the station. and Ensigns N. Fallon, U.S.N.R.F., A.D. Sturtevant, U.S.N.R.F., and J.M. Vorvs, U.S.N.R.F., for instructional work in the America type flying boats.3
15 enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy have reported at the R.N.A.S. Station, Cranwell for instruction in machine gun firing.
Excavation work is in progress on the four stations authorized.
The following officers reported for duty:-
Ensign Earl F. Holmes, U.S.N.
Ensign Ralph F. Nourse, U.S.N.
Civil Engineer Earnest E. Brownell, U.S.N.
Assistant Surgeon H.E. Bank, U.S.N.
Surgeon Harry H. Lane, U.S.N. reported for duty as
Medical Officer of the U.S. Naval Aviation Forces.
Captain Cunningham of the U.S. Marine Corps arrived on
an Aviation Mission with the U.S. Army.4
The following officers reported in Paris for temporary duty to attend a conference of Commanding Officers of U.S. Naval Air Stations and Heads of Departments:-
Lieut. W.M. Corry, Jr., U.S.N., commanding at Le Croisic.
Lieut. J.L. Callan, (JG) U.S.N.R.F. commanding at Ile Tudy.
Lieut. G.C. Dichman, U.S.N., commanding at Moutchic, Lacanau.
Lieut. G. de C. Chevalier, U.S.N., commanding at Dunkerque.
Lieut. H.T. Bartlett, U.S.N., commanding at Ecole de Tir, Cazaux.
Lieut. (j.g.) Robert A. Lovett, U.S.N.R.F.
Ensign D.B. Ingalls, U.S.N.R.F.
11 Pilots left to work in Heriot factory at Billancourt.
Lieut. C.T. Hull, U.S.N., left for Brest.5
Captain Birault’s bomb dropping and pointing device inspected.
Rumpler bombing machine captured from the Germans inspected.
Machine gun mounting lighter than that of the French and is made of wood.
A spad machine with two floats inspected.
Two Renault motors assigned to us by the French Aviation Service inspected.
A new Henriot fighting plane and Sampson motor inspected.
Paymaster Conger6 reports after visiting Brest, St. Nazaire, Rochefort, Bordeaux, Pauillac, and Moutchic that all supplies and personnel of the stations must come from the United States. Has been assigned 16 but should have 40 yeoman.
Station inspected by Vice Admiral Gueydon and Capitaine de Vaisseau Gilly,7 and congratulations of the Admiral on cleanliness and military aspect of the station and man read at muster.
Station visited by Capitaine de Vaschalde, Commander of Aerial Patrol of the Loire accompanied by two officers.8
Commanding Officer returned visits of French Officers and made official call on Commander Baldwin, U.S.N. and General Doyen, U.S.M.C., commanding base at St. Nazaire.9
The following planes were given flying test:-
Nos. 74 – 86 – 71 – 72 – 87.
A reconnaissance flight was made over eastern half of the patrol area.
49 men arrived from Paris.
Weather conditions good for the week.
A seaplane with pilot and two observers left Le Croisic on a scout flight on November 22nd but failed to return. The seaplane and crew were found by a French torpedo boat on November 24th and pilot and crew were taken to La Pallice. The seaplane was lost while being towed.
Contractor continued work on runway, galley, mess hall, store house, water tank, guard house, slip and dock.
Ensign MacLeish, U.S.N.R.F., reported.10
One man reported from Brest.
1 Packard, 2 Ford cars and 1 Ford ambulance were delivered at station.
1 Ford car was transferred to Cazaux.
Total number of flights for the week – 206.
Total time – 43 hours and 21 minutes.
Great need of thick clothing for enlisted personnel. A small supply was arranged for with British Paymaster, R.N. at St. Ouen.
Instruction work progressing.
A Commissary Steward is urgently needed, also yeomen for typewriting with machines.
Coal, gasoline, motor oil, etc., can be obtained from the British.
Office equipment ordered from the British Naval Supply Officer, Dover.
N. C. Twining11
Captain, U.S. NAVY
Chief of Staff.
Signed for Vice Admiral Sims
In his absence.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.
Footnote 1: Zachary Lansdowne. “R.N.A.S.” stands for Royal Naval Air Service, the air arm of the Royal Navy.
Footnote 2: Lt. Cmdr. John C. Porte.
Footnote 3: Lt. Carl T. Hull, Nugent Fallon, Albert D. Sturtevant, and John M. Vorvs.
Footnote 4: Harry E. Bank and Alfred A. Cunningham.
Footnote 5: William M. Corry, Jr., John L. Callan, Grattan C. Dichman, Godfrey de C. Chevalier, Harold T. Bartlett, and Carl T. Hull.
Footnote 6: Asst. Paymaster Omar D. Conger.
Footnote 7: Vice Admiral Paul-Albert de Gueydon and Capitaine Eugène-Louis de Vaisseau Gilly.
Footnote 8: Capitaine Marie-Félix-Joseph de Vaschalde.
Footnote 9: Frank P. Baldwin and Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen.
Footnote 10: K. MacLeish.
Footnote 11: Capt. Nathan C. Twining.