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 Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair

February 28th. 1918.    

My dear Taylor,

          Your letter of February 6th.1 just received. I thoroughly appreciate all the difficulties you are having in supplying us with the required number of boats.

          I can also assure you that we all of us thoroughly appreciate all the efforts that have been made by you and your Bureau to help us out on this side. It is astonishing the amount that has been accomplished. Of course you understand that the situation as regards the activities of submarines and as regards the shortage of merchant shipping is very grave and time is a most important element in the problem. We need over here more than anything else additional destroyers. There are an insufficient number at present to escort all of the merchant convoys and troop convoys that are coming in, and consequently very few can be spared for the essential operation of making war upon the submarine itself.A number of hunting squadrons are now operating and others are being equipped. These are mostly with patrol vessels and vessels of relatively low speed. They are useful in tracking a submarine but they are little use in attacking after it is located. For this reason we need destroyers. If we had fifty more over here now we would be in a much better position.

          I hope therefore that anything that you can possibly do to get the new destroyers over here earlier will be done. We have accounts of the efforts that are now being made and they would seem to be everything that is possible, but if any disposition can be made by which these vessels can be hurried up, it will be of great value in bringing this war to a successful conclusion.

Very sincerely yours,             

S/   W. S. SIMS         

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 23. Document reference: “1/G/J/N.” Addressed below close: “Rear Admiral D.W.Taylor, U.S.N./Chief of Bureau of Construction,/and Repair,/Navy Department,/Washington, D.C.” Note at top of first page: “Admiral Sims’/Personal File.”