Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Anne Hitchcock Sims

[Extract]

 

June 16,1917

Darling Nani,

When my written orders came assigning me to the command of our forces over here they specified that I was “Comdr-in-chief U.S. Naval Forces operating from British Bases,” but many directions I received indicated that they considered me in command also of the forces to be sent to France, and I knew that was what they intended- Also that I was to coordinate the work of our navy with those of both Great Britain and France.1

     However, a cable has just been received from the department stating that hereafter my title will be “Commander United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters”2

     So that is settled definitely. Before this reaches you, you will probably see in the papers that I have been put in command of the Irish Station during Admiral Bayly’s absence (18th to 23rd).

     Admiral Jellicoe told me this morning that the Admiralty would announce this about the 20th....

Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Container 9.

Footnote 1: In a cable dated 28 April 1917, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels ordered Sims to “assume command all U S Destroyers operating from British bases including tenders and auxiliaries” See: Daniels to Sims and MacDougall, 28 April 1917.

Footnote 2: Daniels named Sims Commander U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters and informed him of his new title via cablegram on 14 June 1917. See, Daniels to Sims, 14 June 1917, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B.

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