Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Herbert O. Dunn, Commander, Azores Detachment, Atlantic Fleet
March 4th, 1918.
My dear Dunn,
Your letter of February 15th, turned up a few days ago from Base 13 -- an unlucky number by the way.
In the first place let me say that I thoroughly appreciate the difficulties that you have and I believe I understand what a rotten kind of job it is in some respects. In the next place let me assure you that we will try and remove these difficulties in every possible way. When we first got your request about the flour we cabled at once. Upon receiving your letter of February 15th we cabled again and pointed out the importance of this flour arriving
time to relieve the situation
The other day we cabled you about the reports of the arrival of ships; that these could be made by the British and we would get it from the Admiralty and then be followed up by any information necessary that concerns us alone.
As for the question of tugs, I agree with you that there should be two good huskies at your disposal at all times. A little while ago the Navy Dept. cabled us and asked how many tugs in all we wanted and how disposed. We have asked in all for 36 tugs, 2 of these to be in the Azores. Just when they will come out I do not know. The greatest necessity appears to be the tugs we have promised for the coast of Italy to release a lot of tonnage that could be utilized when tugs are available. In the meantime you know there are going to be tugs dropping in on you at rather frequent intervals. There will be, we understand, six or seven at Bermuda which will convoy the 110 ft. chasers to the Azores, and then will return for more. There will also be tugs basing there. These may be used to a certain extent, though of course that does not fill the bill as well as two tugs that will belong to Base 13. I hope the Navy Dept. will get a move on and send these tugs out. I will keep on touching them up about it.
I believe that four telegraphers are now on the way to join you. Drop me a line when the spirit moves you, and don’t hesitate not only to ask for what you want, but to tell us when you think we are doing things wrong. We want to help in every way and push along the war. We are perfectly sure that we make a reasonable number of mistakes and of course we cannot correct these unless we find out about them. So fire away when you have anything to say; and in the meantime, remain as cheerful as you can under the circumstances.
Very sincerely yours,
Source Note: LT, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 23. At the top of the page is typed, “Admiral Sim’s Personal File” and the identifying notation, “1/5/J”. Following the close, the letter is addressed, “Rear Admiral Herbert O. Dunn, U.S.N./Base 13./Azores.”