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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 Anne Hitchcock Sims



July 21,1917


My darling Sweetheart-

. . . .A letter from Pratt1 quotes the following remarks to him by Pallen.2 “That man Sims has simply taken the country by storm; besides he is so preposterously good looking” (Note the adjective)

“Do you realize that Sims is the only foreigner that has commanded a fleet practically entirely made up of British units for over 400 years”.3

Pratt adds: “that tells the story as nothing else could do it. It shows, and I think everybody here realizes it, that you are essentially the man for the job.”

This has certainly given me a better standing on both sides of the ocean.

. . . .This morning about 8, while I was in the bath room, there was another air raid. There was a great banging of anti-aircraft-guns, and the sound of louder explosions, and they seemed all about the hotel, but I could not see any of the Hun planes. I do not know yet whether the bombs fell, or what damage was done.

     People are getting more sensible about these raids, and now generally take cover when warned by the police. I would of course always do so if the planes were approaching an overhead position. . . .

Your devoted


Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 9.

Footnote 1: Capt. William V. Pratt, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 2: Condé Benoist Pallen, a noted Catholic editor and author.

Footnote 3: See: Sims to Sims, 13 June 1917.