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Rear Admiral Samuel McGowan, Paymaster General, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, to the Staff of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters



Washington, D. C.

22 July 1918

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, U.S.N.

     Commanding U. S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters,

          30 Grosvenor Gardens,

              London, S. W. 1, England.

My dear Admiral:

     The morning’s mail brought to me your good letter of 1 July1 and I regret that there was anything in my previous letter to you regarding Tobey2 which gave you any reason for anxiety.

     Upon receipt of your cablegram 18429,3 I sent the following cable:


     18429 Am happy to concur with you fully and wholly with respect to Tobey period Under no circumstances would I even consider doing anything contrary to your wishes period Will be glad to refer your cablegram to selection board as an official expression of your opinion when board meets period Best wishes 15301


and this morning sent the following:


     Your letter one July just received period I trust that my cablegram 153014 removed all anxiety you had concerning Tobey period If not I wish to reiterate that Intra-Bureau Order two hundred one is still and always will be in full force and effect and that every action I may take will be only with your fullest cooperation and consent period I wish heartily to relieve you of your burdens not to add to them period Tobey and all other assistants of the Pay Corps will be left with you as long as you wish period Will appreciate acknowledgement of this cablegram and whether I have made myself perfectly clear 12422


     I am merely quoting both of these cablegrams in order that you may know they were actually sent in case you did not receive them on time.

     Things here are hustling as usual. A number of important matters are under consideration, particularly the Shipping Board has just requested the Navy Department to be prepared to have ready 200,000 men and 20,000 officers to man the 1924 vessels that will be turned out by the Emergency Fleet Corporation by December, 1919. This, of course, means that they will not only be manned by the NAVY but that they will be fueled, provisioned, clothed, supplied and otherwise maintained by us.

     Already we are having plans made to take care of the increased business and I am sure we will be able to handle the increased work satisfactorily.

     The Selection Board is now in session and you are probably aware that it consists of Admirals Mayo, Rodgers, Winterhalter, Glennon, Usher, Snowden, Knapp, Coffman and Fechteler.5 It has quite a job ahead of it inasmuch as there are about 400 selections, I understand, to make in the line.

     I wish to assure you again, my dear Admiral, that there will be no change in the personnel of your staff insofar as the Pay Corps is concerned, unless you personally request it.

     With best respects, believe me to be

                             Very truly yours,

                                                S McGowan

Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 71.

Footnote 1: See: Sims to McGowan, 1 July 1918.

Footnote 2: Paymaster Eugene C. Tobey, a member of Sims’ staff in London.

Footnote 3: This cable has not been located.

Footnote 4: This cable has not been located.

Footnote 5: Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, William L. Rodgers, Commander, Training and Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, Albert G. Winterhalter, President, General Board, James H. Glennon, Commander, Battleship Division Five, Atlantic Fleet, Nathaniel R. Usher, Commandant, Third Naval District (New York City), Thomas Snowden, Commander, Squadron 1 and Division 2, Battleship Force, Atlantic Fleet, Harry S. Knapp, Military Governor, Santo Domingo and Military Representative of the United States in Haiti, DeWitt Coffman, Commander, Battleship Force 2, Atlantic Fleet, and Augustus Fechteler, Commandant, Fifth Naval District (Norfolk, Va).

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