Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore William A. Howard Kelly, Commander, British Adriatic Force, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Lowestoft1

July 15. [1918]

My dear Admiral,

     Leigh2 is leaving this afternoon for London to take up his work again. I neednt tell you how very valuable his visit has been, or of all the good work he has put in, in getting things really going, as you know what he can do.

     He will be very much missed, and I hope you will be able to spare him again soon for another visit. He has such tremendous tact, and knows exactly how these international things have to be run. He has also filled all our chasers with a desire to follow in his footsteps.

     They have done wonderfully good work already and will go on doing so, as I think these waters are admirably adapted for their use.

     The Mediterranean can take any number you like to supply, but we should also be very glad of another 36 if you can spare them. They could base 18 at Gallipoli (Italy)3 and 18 at Argostoli, all of them passing through Corfu in turn. Please have a kind thought for us when the Ford destroyers start turning up,4 they are just the craft we want. Cmdr Train5 was saying you might feel inclined to lay some fairly deep mine field for us later on, to work the Straits a bit.

     I think Leigh will tell you the relations down here are just as good as in Home waters, and one can’t say more than that. Hoping you are very fit.

Yours very sincerely,            

Howard Kelly.                

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 24.

Footnote 1: H. M. light cruiser Lowestoft, Kelly’s flagship.

Footnote 2: Capt. Richard Leigh. As seen at Leigh to Sims, 30 June 1918, he had been sent to set up the submarine chaser flotilla at Corfu.

Footnote 3: Gallipoli, Italy, is located on the Ionian Sea, on the west coast of the Salentina Peninsula.

Footnote 4: On the Eagle class boats built by the Ford Motor Co., see: William S. Benson to Sims, 31 January 1918. As seen in a note there, very few were completed before the war ended.

Footnote 5: Cmdr. Charles R. Train, United States Naval Attaché at Rome.

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