Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters to Commander Joel R. Poinsett Pringle
July 31, 1917
My dear Pringle.
Your telegram concerning Castle and Robinson received yesterday. Of course, it would be a splendid thing if these two clever young men could visit Queenstown before they return, but they are sailing today for home.
The reason they are off so soon, and without visiting Queenstown, is that they came to me yesterday, upon their return from a tour of various ports and the Grand Fleet, and told me that in their opinion they should get back to America as soon as possible, and tell our people about the number of things they found in the Grand Fleet in which we are very distinctly inferior. This includes such fundamentally important things as fire control, concentration, and so forth. To their astonishment, they found that the British are very distinctly in advance of us in the application of electricity to fire control. They were so much concerned about it that they insisted they should return at once, and, of course, I ordered them.
Long arrived this morning, and he has already had the effect of clearing the atmosphere. We expect Twining and Ancrum tomorrow or next day. Berrien and Blakelee are expected about a week later. It is my present intention to send Berrien up to command a destroyer, as I know that is what he wants, and he will be more use there than here, as he is not a paper man.
Source Note: LTS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 413. Addressed below close: “Captain J.R.P.Pringle,/U.S.S.MELVILLE.”