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Bureau of Navigation to Staff of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Chronological Copy.                            File No. <31-7-2>

Cablegram Received July: <23, 1918.> 09424  TOH

Origin Opnav, Washington. (Bunav)            Ser. No. 8930

     S-1    24 July



8930. Referring to your letter 22561 regarding return of Reserve Officers for Watch Officers new destroyers Bureau of Navigation fully approves. Bureau of Navigation will send 10 Reserve Officers trained in Fleet each month beginning August 1st to fill vacancies created by return of Reserve Officers and can increase this number to 20 per month or more after October 1st. Bureau of Navigation will continue to send Regular Officers as per schedule of 22 in June, 30 in August and 14 in November 25 per cent of which number will be of rank of Lieutenant Commander. Bureau of Navigation wishes to send in addition 25 Regulars of class of 1916 and 1917 with view of securing equal number of Regulars to Command EAGLES.2 From latest information expect 25 EAGLES before ice sets in then no more until spring this estimate is not wholly dependable as circumstances change rapidly. Same officers sent may be returned from EAGLES or other Regulars sent home for EAGLES at discretion of Force Commander. First demand for Commanding Officers for EAGLES about September 1st. Commanding Officer for EAGLES should be senior to class of 1914.

Officers complement of first 25 EAGLES will be young Regular Officers Commanding and Ex-boatswains or Ex-gunners Executive and Ex-machinsts or specially trained Reserve Engineers and Gunners or Boatswains Watch and specially trained Reserves as Communication. In view of large number of destroyers still be officered after present schedule of sending officers to United States is carried out the EAGLES must in no way interfere with destroyer program. In view of probable selection from Commanders to Captain of Commanding Officers in destroyers do you recommend officers Bureau promoted to be transferred to duty commensurate with their rank. Bunav welcomes criticism and suggestions from your force and appreciates the close co-operation which has made efficient manning new destroyers certain.3 18323 8930


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten but is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the text.

Footnote 1: Sims’ letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: Eagle boats were patrol boats but were made of steel and although smaller than destroyers, Eagle boats were larger and had a greater operational capability than the 110-foot wooden submarine chasers. The complement of an Eagle boat was five officers and fifty-six men. Frank A. Cianflone, “The Eagle Boats of World War I,” United States Naval Insitute Proceedings, vol. 99 (June, 1973), 76-8.

Footnote 3: If Sims sent a response, it has not been found. Whatever Sims had to say about the Eagle boats proved irrelevant in any case, since none of them were commissioned before the end of the war.

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