Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
SENT: June 19, 1917. TO: Secretary of the Navy.
THROUGH: Admiralty. FROM: Queenstown.
782. Efficiency of force and safety of ships and personnel requires immediately a reserve of experienced officers and men, particularly officers and petty officers.
Officers and men must be replaced immediately which are incapacitated by sea or other sickness or inaptitude or inexperience.
Have redistributed officers to give minimum of five on each ship taking majority of watch officers from parent ships stop British experience shows that each ship should have six stop.
Have relieved executive of one ship and engineer of another for inaptitude and inexperience stop Others should be relieved for chronic seasickness and inexperience stop Already one merchant ship sunk probably due to inaptitude of watch officer on escorting destroyer.
No further reliefs or possibilities of exchange.
This service demands experience stop Officers now going from strenuous bridge duty to exacting engine room and other duty.
Request reserves previously requested be sent immediately by mail steamer.
If above conditions result in loss of vessels or lives we will have no possible defense.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517.