Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, Commander, Convoy Operations in the Atlantic, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
RECEIVED: July 5, 1917.
Message from Admiral Gleaves to Admiral Sims of this present date.
Eight transports and two cruisers ready to sail and cannot for lack of safe escort. French can only provide two or three slow torpedo boats (stop) This is entirely inadequate. Navy Department has cabled for a quick return of transports. Request five destroyers be sent immediately for this duty. ALLEN went to sea with first group and was ordered to return to St. Nazaire before your order was received. Please acknowledge and inform me probable date of arrival of destroyers.
Note by Lieut. Comdr. Babcock The above message was received by me from Naval Attache, Paris, over French telephone. The Naval Attache told me also that total French force at St. Nazaire consisted of three torpedo boats, speed under fifteen knots, and one British sloop under French flag, and two French sloops, and that the services of these ships for escort duty of our transports involved abandonment of escort duty for French trade coming into St. Nazaire.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517.