Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

[Extract]

CONFIDENTIAL

BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE,

UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET,

U.S.S. NEW YORK, Flagship.

                             8 June 1918.

From:     Commander BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE.

To  :     Secretary of the Navy ( OPERATIONS ).

Via :     Force Commander.1

Subject:  General Report – week ending 8 June 1918.

     1.   OFFICIAL VISITS.

          The following official visits were made to this DIVISION during the past week:-

          Vice Admiral W.S. Sims, U.S. NAVY, with two of his staff arrived Wednesday, 5 June, and left for INVERNESS to visit the MINING FORCE, the following day. He inspected the several ships of the DIVISION during his stay.

          Congressman Kelly of the House Naval Committee, and Congressman Curry,2 visited this ship on Thursday, 6 June, and left the same day for LIVERPOOL for passage to the UNITED STATES. The former inspected one of the British Battle Cruisers, then made a general tour of inspection through the GRAND FLEET.

          The First Sea Lord, Admiral Wemyss,3 paid an official visit to this ship on Friday, 7 June, and after inspecting her with crew at quarters, he addressed the officers and men as a representative of the ADMIRALTY, and was most complimenting in his remarks on the efficiency, cleanliness, and upkeep of the ships, the fine spirit and appearance of the officers and men, and the excellent impression which this FORCE had made not only upon the British Naval Officials, but upon all with whom it had come in contact...

     4.   MOVEMENTS OF VESSELS. 

          The DIVISION got underway on Wednesday, 5 June, for 5 inch battery reduced charge target practice, but was unable to hold it on account of low visibility, and returned to anchorage and moored.

          Although the targets were invisible from deck they were plainly seen from the observer in the balloon; in point of fact, he stated later that his view was perfectly clear, and that he was unaware,until informed from deck by telephone, that our visibility was so limited. It was clearly a case of a low hanging surface mist over which the balloon observer had a clear view. The possibilities of firing under these conditions and spotting from the balloon seem promising, and will be tried if another occasion offers.

     5.   AMMUNITION SHIP.

          The MERCURIUS with the spare ammunition for the DIVISION is due to arrive at the CLYDE June 14, and will be despatched to this base immediately afterwards for discharge. The ammunition will be stowed at KIRKALDY, near this anchorage.

     6.   HEALTH OF FORCE.

          An epidemic of influenza has struck this ship; almost all of the vessels of the GRAND FLEET have had more or less of it.

     7.   HOSPITAL FACILITIES. 

          Patients are now being sent to our hospital at STRATHPEFFER. Formerly they were sent to British Hospital Ships, and when convalescent to various hospitals throughout GREAT BRITAIN. The present system is far more satisfactory from every point of view.

     8.   STORES AND SUPPLIES.

          Our stores and supplies are being handled very satisfactorily. In all respects, everything relating to this FORCE is running very smoothly and nicely.

Hugh Rodman             

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 381. A distribution list at end of document reads as follows: “To: OPNAV (2)/Copies to:/ CinC Atl.Fleet [Adm. Henry T. Mayo]./Force Comdr./ Chief Naval/Intelligence [Capt. Roger T. Welles, Jr.]./Adm. Badger [Adm. Charles J. Badger, President, General Board of the Navy]./File.” A Document identifier appears at top of first page “File 7.”; “1/S”, and there is also a running header at the top of pages two and three: “C.B.D. [Commander Battleship Division] 9 file 7 of 8 June 1918. Subject: General Report.”

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: Patrick H. Kelley, R-Michigan, and Charles F. Curry, Sr., R-California.

Footnote 3: Adm. Sir Rosslyn Wemysss.

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