Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, Naval Aviaition Force, Foreign Service, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

March 23, 1918.

Opnav, Washington, D.C.

A-1. C. of S.1

HIGHLY SECRET:

     Your 3569.2 Following from Cone QUOTE Proposition protect with land fighting type present overseas patrol at Dunkirk not considered advisable. After studies conducted in theatre proposed, conference with French and English operating therein, also French Minister,3 following recommended. Primary effort to be directed continuous day and night bombing submarine bases Zeebrugge, Ostend, Bruges Harbor, Bruges Canal and Ghent., Secondary effort bomb aviation centers. With force of two hundred aeroplanes following types suggested: Six squadrons total sixty Handley Pages or Caproni type land machines night bombers.4 Supplemented by six squadrons total hundred and eight DH-4 type land machines day bombers fighters and photographers.5 Supplemented by two squadrons total thirty-two Chasse type land machines6 for high offensive overland patrol. Impossible to obtain any type of aircraft from English. Investigation possibility of obtaining aircraft from French and Italians incomplete. Will report as soon as completed. Possible all aircraft will have to be supplied from United States. personnel should come over as soon as completely trained. in proceeding with tentative selection of site for station UNQUOTE Strongly recommend approval.

SIMS.         

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45 Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Sims’ chief of staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining.

Footnote 2: See, Sims to William S. Benson, 6 March 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 3: French Minister of the Marine Georges Leygues.

Footnote 4: Handley Page (British) and Caproni (Italian) were land-based heavy biplane bombers.

Footnote 5: DH-4 was a two-seat light British day bomber designed by Geoffrey de Havilland.

Footnote 6: “Chasse” were fighter planes.

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