Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Nathan C. Twining, Chief of Staff for Vice Admiral William S.Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Sir Charles L. Vaughan-Lee, R.N., Director of Air Services, Air Board

 

9 February 1918.  

From:     Force Commander.

To  :     Director of Air Services, Air Board.

Subject:  U.S.Naval Aviators – disposition of.

     1.  There are three qualified U.S.Naval Aviators now attached to the R.N.A.S. Felixstowe,1 who will, it is understood, shortly be acting as first pilots on War flights.2 Inasmuch as our own stations have not yet been commissioned it is thought that perhaps the services of these qualified War flight pilots might be of value to the British Government and that perhaps these officers might be used to advantage at seaplane bases where large American flying boats are used. Information is, therefore, requested as to whether or not you desire to have these officers temporarily transferred to you for actual War Service at British seaplane stations.

N. C. TWINING     

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: Royal Naval Air Service.

Footnote 2: The three pilots were David Ingalls, Ken MacLeish, and Edward Smith. They were later joined by Willis Haviland and flew several combat missions with the Royal Air Service during the late spring of 1918. Ingalls became the United States’ first Naval Ace, recording six aerial victories. Geoffrey L. Rossano, ed., Hero of the Angry Sky: The World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America’s First Naval Ace (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2013).

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