Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander-in-Chief, Southern Ireland, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
15. 6. 18 [15 June 1918]
My dear Admiral
Thanks very much for your letter about the US seaplanes. It was typical of your broad mindedness & never failing courtesy to others.
You never sent me the foreword you were to write in the U S prayer book, and it is of all your productions the one I would most wish to read. The other day the Captain of the Begum stayed here, and told me about the six days he and his men had passed in their boat. He said that on the sixth day, they had sighted land but were ‘all out’: they could not even lift an oar and had no water nor biscuit left, and he said “I had often heard of prayer, and it seemed to me that here was a time when it might do some good, so I prayed and soon after a fishing boat came to us gave us some water took our oars and brought us in”.
About your kite balloons at Berehaven: I hope to have a ship ready to tow them, so as first to exercise & then to use them by about July 5th.. I want you to give McCrary some K.B [i.e., kite balloon] crews by then so as to be ready for me: it would be rotten to man US KB’s with British people. I will let you know more accurately later the date.
We hope to begin cricket next week.
We shall go away at noon July 4th.; if we went on the 3d people might say we were running away from Independence Day; the day on which the USA did a good turn to England as well as to themselves. We are eating our own peas & new potatoes. Gooseberries not yet ripe. Strawberries now being eaten yours very sincerely
Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 47. The letter is on Admiralty House stationary so the address is printed. On the right side is an image of a flag.