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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations



Date: March 16, 1918

TO: Opnav.          Prep. CS,    Code; 34 ADR      No. 5217


5217. My 5151.1 Council2 also discussed subject of allocation of United States submarines chasers and after thorough examination whole submarine situation unanimously decided that first thrity [i.e., thirty] six of these to arrive should be alloca[t]ed to Mediterranean for exclusive work as hunting squadrons with exception of six or eight to be used for experimental purposes in British waters in connection with destroyers, such as AYLWIN and CALDWELL, fitted with latest American types of listening devices. In accordance with this decision, about thirty of the earliest arrivals will be assigned to the Otranto region with basse at Corfu. Am arranging with Admiralty to employ as many hunting groups as possible in Irish Sea or English Channel, each group to consist of an American destroyer with three or [f]our chasers. Until chasers arr<i>ve, British will furnish such trawlers as are available.3

     Method of supplying fuel for chasers in Mediterranean now under advisement and hope to provide it from eastern sources via Egypt instead of calling on American resources.4


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

Footnote 2: The Inter-Allied Naval Council.

Footnote 3: The U.S. Navy Department considered this plan a departure from what had been agreed to earlier and requested more details before giving its approval. See: Benson to Sims, 23 March 1918.

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