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

26 March 1918

     I have just come back from Queenstown, where I spent a most profitable and enjoyable day amongst your officers and men.

     Our relations have always been so cordial that I am going to allow myself to make remarks to you which otherwise might seem an impertinence; but under the circumstances I cannot refrain from telling you how pleased I was with everything I saw.

     Quite apart from the personal pleasure it gave me to meet your officers and see them and your men at work, I came away with a feeling that the organisation, discipline and general effectiveness of your squadron are of a very high degree. One and all, from the highest to the lowest, struck me as being so extraordinarily keen, smart and efficient, and the state of the ships appeared to me to leave absolutely nothing to be desired.

     Captain Pringle’s1 organising powers must be very great, and the good feeling which so evidently prevails all through your squadron can but be due very greatly to him.

     As to personal relationships between the two services I will say nothing, as we have so often discussed them; but an actual sight as to what was going on brought home to me more than ever the magnificent way in which the officers and men of your service have entered into a partnership with ours. I know that the feeling is entirely reciprocated and that the co-operation between the two services can lead to nothing but good, both during the war and after it.

     The cordiality with which I was received made a very deep impression upon me, and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you and all your officers and men for that heartiness which is characteristic of our brotherhood in arms.

Source Note: LT, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 90. For a more detailed account of Wemyss’ visit and the American response to it, see: Pringle to Sims, 26 March 1918.

Footnote 1: Capt. Joel R. Poinsett Pringle, Chief of Staff, Destroyer Flotillas.

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