Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché at Washington, to First Sea Lord Admiral John R. Jellicoe

COPY,

31-10-3

RECEIVED: July 20, 1917.      FROM: Commodore Gaunt.

THROUGH:  Admiralty.          TO: First Sea Lord.

‘L’

     252. P.O.G. 1st S.L. Secret & Personal

A.   Suggest some ( group corrupt)? idea) be given of where the Torpedo Boat Destroyers from Manila are to be based. They have only small radius and Gibraltar is suggested here. B. The coal and Oil fuel burning destroyers temporarily despatched to the Azores are to have PANTHER as Mother Ship. The idea is that they will be on the line of communication of (?group omitted) (?and ) American troops going over. Privately, there is a good deal of feeling at the French failing to properly convoy vessels on their coasts. There are a number of complaints in the Navy Department on (? the) subject, and it is thought these destroyers, having a radius of 2000 miles, may help to fill the gap.1 C. The strikes in New York are delaying other small craft, such as Yachts and Trawlers. D. I have tried two German ships as Mine layers. The difficulty is not with the Navy, and I suggest that the only way of getting them, if it were urged strongly through (? diplomatic) channels, that these ships would be more valuable as minelayers than for carrying supplies, the Navy would support it, and it would carry weight with the civilian board who are blocking it. E. It is again suggested how valuable gunnery and torpedo officers would be attached to this office, and lent as necessary to the United States, provided that they have come from the Grand Fleet and have acquired War experience.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 413.

Footnote 1: The vessels from Manila mentioned here were the five antiquated Bainbridge class destroyers serving as the Asiatic Fleet's Torpedo Flotilla. These destroyers were dispatched to Gibraltar, arriving for convoy duty in Fall 1917. See: William S. Benson to Albert G. Winterhalter, 24 July 1917.

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