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Commander Charles P. Nelson, Commander, Otranto Detachment, Submarine Chasers, Distant Service, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

 O-1                          U.S. NAVAL BASE No.25

SECRET                          24 July, 1918.

From:     Commander Otranto Detachment, Submarine Chasers, Distant Service.

To:       Force Commander.

Subject: Report of Submarine Chaser Hunt, No.10.

Inclosures: (a) Report of Commander Unit A.

            (b) Track Chart Unit A.

            (c) Report of Commander Unit L.

            (d) Track Chart Unit L.

            (e) Report of Hunt Commander, Hunt No.10.1

     1.   The period of Hunt No.10 was July 17th to July 22nd. Lieutenant Commander E.E. Spafford, U.S.N.R.F., was Hunt Commander, and was on board Chaser No.248. Units A,G,K,L comprised the hunting line which was established in Latitude 39°-15’ North, Longitude 18°-15’ East for the western end of the line. Units were spaced about ten miles apart and covered an area somewhat greater than previously. The eastern Unit was in Longitude 18°-55’ East.

     2.   The weather, except on the 17th, was ideal for hunting. The sea was calm and there was a good moon for night work.

     3.   There were four possible contacts made and of these one was seen on the surface camouflaged as a trawler.

     4.   The conclusions of the Hunt Commander are generally concurred in.

     5.   The fact that Unit A did not conduct its hunts with better results is due chiefly to poor judgment because of lack of experience. This will be overcome by working with a friendly submarine and by drill under Squadron Commanders.

     6.   It seems advisable to keep the barrage of as great a depth as possible, but other vessels are necessary in this latitude to prevent submarines turning the ends.

     7.   Since sending in my report on Hunt No.92 in which I stated conclusions as set forth in sub-paragraph (c), a conference was held with the Captain of Otranto Mobile Barrage,3 in which many points were thoroughly discussed. This discussion cleared up materially several points not before understood. I wish to withdraw my recommendation that effort be made in London to change the position of the Chaser Line as the tentative plan of the Captain of the Otranto Mobile Barrage contemplates the disposition of the Chasers where they will be most useful.

/s/ C. R. NELSON        

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520. Addressed below close: “Copies to :-/ Commander Sub-Chasers, Distant Service [Richard H. Leigh] (1)/Operations (1)/Base 27 [Plymouth] (1)/Naval Attache, Rome [Charles R. Train] (1)/President Special Board (1)/C.C. – B.A.F. [Commander in Chief-British Adriatic Force, Howard Kelly, R.N.] (1)/Captain (B) (1)/File (2).” Document reference: “<25.36.3/Hunt #10>.”

Footnote 2: The report of Hunt No. 9, has not been found.

Footnote 3: Capt. Gilbert O. Stephenson, R.N. Commander, Otranto Mobile Barrage.