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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters to British Admiralty


TO:  Admiralty                                                                FROM:     Vice-Admiral Sims,


SENT:     28.6.17

     No. 955   URGENT.

     Commander Hanrahan1 of U.S. CUSHING S.O. 1st Convoy escort just returned from St. Nazaire reports as follows – begins –

     Admiral Gleaves at St Nazaire in detaining certain U.S.Destroyers on arrival St. Nazaire to escort transports out of submarine zone when cleared.2 This is a very serious matter especially now that ‘B’ approach route is resumed. Request that orders be given for U.S. Destroyers to leave for Queenstown directly transports are inside breakwater St. Nazaire. Matter is urgent as at present I have only 7 destroyers until escorts return and 2 of them are in dock under repair.3

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Below close is a routing list for copies.

Footnote 1: Cmdr. David C. Hanrahan, Senior Officer of Destroyer Division Six and First Convoy Escort. CUSHING, the flagship of Destroyer Division Six, and its division departed Queenstown on 21 June 1917 to rendezvous and escort Convoy Group I of the first convoy of troops in the American Expeditionary Force. Division Six and the convoy reached St. Nazaire on 26 June and four of the six destroyers departed for Queenstown 27 June. The remaining destroyers were detained. See, U.S.S. CUSHING, War Diary, June 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520; and Hanrahan to Sims, 2 July 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Albert Gleaves, Commander, Convoy Operations in the Atlantic. Sims strongly disagreed with Gleaves’ decision, cabling him on 29 June to demand the return of all destroyers, arguing that the destroyers should only escort transports coming to France, not those outgoing. See: Sims to Gleaves, 29 June 1917

Footnote 3: There were four Convoy Groups that formed this first troop convoy. Sims dispatched 18 destroyers to escort the convoy, leaving only a few vessels at Queenstown. See: Sims to Daniels, 22 June 1917.

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