Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

E. J. Stackpole, Sr., President and Editor-in-Chief, Harrisburg Telegraph, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

HARRISBURG TELEGRAPH

E.J. STACKPOLE, President

June 5, 1918       

Vice Admiral W. S. Sims,

United States Embassy,

London, England.

My dear Admiral:-

     That you may know we are watching you from afar and that your friends back home are more than pleased with the splendid record which you are making in this titanic struggle, I enclose, herewith, an editorial from the Telegraph that I was pleased to write as a little tribute to yourself and also as an inspiration to others in the service.1

     We’ve just had our first real scare on this side through the raiding of a couple of submarines along the Atlantic Coast, but there is absolute confidence -- I hear it everywhere-- in “Sims and his destroyers.”

     One of my two sons,2 now on the other side, wrote us some months ago how great was their relief after an exciting trip to see the destroyers come out of the night and take their positions around the transport.

     With all good wishes,

Sincerely yours,

E.J. Stackpole

Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 75.

Footnote 1: This editorial, entitled “WHEN SIMS SPEAKS,” has remained with this letter and reads as follows:

VICE ADMIRAL William S. Sims may not realize his power to hearten his countrymen but it is a fact that Americans are more inspired by his occasional statements than by the utterances of any other outstanding figure in the great world war. He seems to sense the vital facts in the changing panorama of the tragedy of the ages and the optimism which characterizes his messages is always tempered with rare good sense and an appreciation of actual conditions.

Also, his presence at a recent baseball game in England, staged as a benefit for the charity fund of the Army and Navy, showed the human side of this popular officer, whose great part in the elimination of the submarine menace will not be fully understood until the end of the war.

Footnote 2: E. J. Stackpole, Jr. served on the Western Front in the war. The elder Stackpole’s other son was Albert Stackpole.

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