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Rear Admiral Leigh C. Palmer, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

In reply refer to NO.



Bureau of Navigation   

Washington, D.C.

March 26, 1918.

My dear Admiral:-

          Your letter concerning personnel came along by the slow freight, and I am glad to hear how well you are getting on.1 We know you are “on the job” and if you have any suggestions or requests, fire them along and we’ll give them a fair wind. I enjoyed seeing Babcock2 and had several talks with him.

          Our systematic plan for training afloat laid down last Autumn is now beginning to show results, and we are getting officers of a certain limited ability for Junior Officer’s work.

          I have recently sent over a letter giving our plans for the year and in it you will notice that we have given first consideration to the Destroyer Force and to the forces Operating in European Waters; this we considered to be the best policy as we realize just how hard your work must be.3

          It is a great help to know that all hands are “pulling together” and I believe that we will be able to see things through in good shape.

          Lieutenant Commander C. G. Davy,4 who has been on duty in this Bureau in the Detail Office for two years has just been ordered to duty in the Destroyer Force. In order that we may get all the information possible and keep in close touch with you people “Over there”, we have given Davy temporary additional duty in connection with personnel. My idea in doing this, is to have Davy visit all the different headquarters and let them know about the general personnel situation and then to return here with any recommendations that you may make. This is an extension of the Liaison officer policy. We have fould it greatly to the benefit of all concerned in the different Naval Districts, and I believe it is in accord with your ideas.

          Davy is a splendid officer, is in close touch with all our work and has a great deal of common sense. We will appreciate anything you can do to help him out. On completion of this duty he will return for work in the Destroyer Force. Davy is a little fearful of being assigned staff duty; he has had a great deal of it in years past and I am going to ask you to put him in training for command after his return to you from the United States. See “H.A.” Baldridge for recommendation on Davy.5

          We have developed a scheme for training destroyer engineers which is working splendidly. There is one of your old engineers at each yard in direct charge. Young Risley6 is in general charge and the Walke makes cruises from the different yards. We have sent you an outline of the scheme.

          My best wishes to you in your work; we hear nothing but good reports of our activities abroad. If you need any money for training camps, instruments, gunnery training classes, and maintenance of camps (orthings that can be so translated) let me know by cable and I will send along the authorization. If we can be of any assistance to Mrs. Sims7 in any way, or help her out with information, let her drop me a line, as I am never too busy.

          Sincerely yours,

Sd. L.C.Palmer.

Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 79. Following the close, the letter is addressed, “Vice Admiral W.S.Sims, U.S.N.,/U.S.Naval Forces Operating in European Waters,/London, England.”

Footnote 2: Cmdr. John V. Babcock, Sims' personal aide, was on temporary assignment in Washington.

Footnote 3: This letter has not been located.

Footnote 4: Charles G. Davy.

Footnote 5: Lt. Cmdr. Harry A. Baldridge, Bureau of Navigation.

Footnote 6: Lt. Ralph G. Risley.

Footnote 7: Sims’ wife, Anne Hitchcock Sims.

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