Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Albert P. Niblack, Commander, United States Naval Forces Base on Gibraltar, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

[Extract]

DECATUR,1

3 June, 1918.

FROM:     Commander Patrol Squadrons Based on Gibraltar.

TO  :     FORCE COMMANDER.

SUBJECT:   Weekly Report of Operations 26 May to 1 June,

inclusive

     1. EMPLOYMENT OF VESSELS.

BAINBRIDGE - -: Returned from Danger Zone Escort Duty 28 May, escorting U.S.S. CARIB. Sailed again on Danger Zone Escort Duty 1 June.

BARRY - - - - :  Made successful trial run in bay 26 May. Sailed on Danger Zone Escort Duty 28 May, returning 31    May.

DALE - - - - :  Returned from Danger Zone Escort Duty 27 May and commenced overhauling boilers.

DECATUR - - -: In port overhauling boilers. Completed work 31 May. Sailed on Danger Zone Escort Duty 1 June.

ALGONQUIN - - : Completed docking in Devenport Dockyard andsailed for Gibraltar on Ocean Escort Duty.

BIRMINGHAM - -:  Absent on Ocean Escort Duty.

CHESTER - - - :  In Devenport Dockyard for battery alterations.

MANNING - - - :  Completed refit 27 May and sailed on Ocean Escort Duty on 28 May.

OSSIPEE - - - -:  Sailed on Ocean Escort Duty 28 May.

SACRAMENTO - - :  Absent on Ocean Escort Duty.

SENECA - - - - :  Returned from Ocean Escort Duty 26 May.

TAMIR - - - - -:  Absent on Ocean Escort Duty.

YAMACRAW - - - :  Returned from Ocean Escort Duty 31 May.

CASTINE - - - -:  Sailed on Bizerta Escort Duty 29 May.

MACHIAS - - - -:  Completed repairs in ORAH and returned to the base 26 May. Sailed to reinforce escort of Convoy CAC-56 27 May, returning with that Convoy 29 May.

NASHVILLE - -:  Absent on Bizerta Escort Duty

PADUCAH - - -:  In ALGIERS refitting.

WHEELING - - :  Returned from Bizerta Escort Duty 26 May, coaled, provisioned and sailed again on Bizerta Escort Duty 29 May.

ARCTURUS (ex-2

ARTEMIS - - -:  Broke down off ORAN while proceeding to Boat Convoy and entered that port for repairs.

CYTHERA - - -:  Returned from GENOA Escort Duty 26 May and commenced overhauling boilers.

DRUID- - - -:  In refit.

LYDONIA - - -:  In port overhauling boilers. Completed work 31 May.

NAHMA - - - -:  Returned from BIZERTA Escort Duty 30 May.

SURVEYOR - - :  Returned from BIZERTA Escort Duty 26 May.

VENETIA - - -:  Returned from BIZERTA Escort Duty 26 May.

WENONAH - - -:  Sailed on BIZERTA Escort Duty 29 May.

YANKTON - - -:  Absent on GENOA Escort Duty.

     2.  SUBMARINE ACTIVITY, GIBRALTAR Reporting Area.

May 26th 6:00 a.  36°35'N. 02°40' W. One British SS., one Italian sailing vessel, one French sailing vessel and one Spanish sailing vessel torpedoed.           

May 26 8 p.      38°20'N. 03°34' E. French SS LE GARD torpedoed.    

May 26 p.m.  Off COLUMBRETES            Submarine reported.    

May 27 1 a.      38°18'N. 03°33' E. British SS UGANDA torpedoed and sunk in Convoy GAG-26.

May 27 3 p.       41°40'N. 31°04' W. British SS MERIONETSHIRE sunk by “U” Type submarine.   

May 27 5 p.        42°16'N. 03°24' E. ALLO (doubtful).

May 28 2 p.        35°50'N. 03°00' W. Submarine sighted.

May 28 10:0 p.     41°23'N. 31°54' W. British S.S. CAIRN CROSS sunk by two submarines.3

May 29 4:30 p.      36°25'N. 02°56' W. BRIG XI attacked by submarine by gunfire.

May 29 8 p.        36°20'N. 11°24'W.  ALLO.

May 29 8 p.      2-1/2 miles off SANTANDER  Large submarine sighted.           

May 30 1:55 a.     36°11'N. 04°23' W.  BRIG XI attacked by submarine with torpedo.

May 30   Off ROQUETAS                 Two submarines reported.

1 June 2:30 p.     46°43'N. 17°56' W.  British SS WALTON HALL Attacked by submarine. Escaped.

     Convoy GAG-26 attacked by submarine at 1 a.m. 27 May in 38°12'N. 03°33' E. British SS UGANDA torpedoed. CYTHERA and PRIVET left convoy to stand by UGANDA and attempt to get her into Algiers. MACHIAS re-enforced escort. UGANDA eventually sank and CYTHERA & PRIVET returned to GIBRALTAR.

     3. Order was published 26 May changing name of the ARTEMIS to ARCTURUS.

        U.S.S. CARIB arrived 26 May with supplies for this force and base. She was put alongside gunwharf and unloading began 29 May.

        Captain Crosley,4 U.S.Navy, Naval Attache at Madrid made official visit to this base from 29 to 31 May.

        Lieutenant B.F. Jenkins,5 U.S.N. left for MADRID 29 May for radio conference.

        NASHVILLE unable to sail from BIZERTA 30 May with Convoy EC-27 on account of serious epidemic of influenza.

       Observed Memorial Day, 30 May, with special services at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and at the American graves here, which were decorated. The SENECA steamed out into the bay and conducted service for the graveless dead. . . .

A.P.Niblack

Source Note: DS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520. Identifying number in top left-hand corner “509.”

Footnote 1: U.S. destroyer DECATUR was Niblack’s flag ship at this time.

Footnote 2: This was the new name of the armed yacht ARTEMIS.

Footnote 3: That British steamship Cairnross was torpedoed and sunk by a single submarine.

Footnote 4: Capt. Walter S. Crosley.

Footnote 5: Lt. (j.g.) Bernard F. Jenkins.

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