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First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, R.N., to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

[London] 12th June 1918.     

My Dear Admiral.

               I have a note dated the 5th June from the Commander-in-Chief at Malta,1 and I give you, for your personal information, an extract which he has written to me on the subject of Chasers. Where criticism is implied in what he says, I feel quite sure that you will not take it amiss, and will treat it as a personal and private communication from me.

Yours sincerely.             


(Sd.) WEMYSS.           

Vice-Admiral W.S.Sims U.S.N.,

       Force Commander.



          “The whole 30 American Submarine Chasers have been dry-docked here (10 in dock at a time). Nine arrived at Corfu yesterday and the remaining 21 sail this afternoon for Corfu with Commander Nelson, U.S.N.2

          I went out in one of them to see her fire “depth charges’ and to try her Hydrophones. The Chasers are good sea boats and well fitted, but some are built of gree wood and I doubt if they will last long with a good deal of nursing.

          They are at present overloaded with stores, etc. for the voyage which affects their speed, but thid [i.e., this] will no longer be the case when they work from the Corfu Base.,

          The officers and men impressed me most favourably, and they are all as keen as possible.

          The Chasers are well fitted with Hydrophone gear, but the gun armament is poor and the depth charges barely sufficient.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 340. There is a note at the bottom of the first page: “Admiral Sims’ reply: “Instructions have been issued to increase the depth charges carried to twelve.”

Footnote 1: VAdm. Sir Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, R.N.

Footnote 2: Capt. Charles P. Nelson.