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Rear Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Destroyers Operating from British Bases, to Navy Department



Sent: May 8. 1917.



6167---May 8th, 4 p.m.

Following from the Admiral to Navy Department:

     “Establishment of temporary bases Brest and Bordeaux very desirable but should not divert in any way necessary repair supply and fuel vessels from mobile destroyer base.1 Urgent that destroyer force remain concentrated with mobile base ready to follow any movement of main submarine activity on high sea trade routes. Request information concerning probable date of arrival of Captain Pratt and Aide services urgently needed.2 Sims.”


Source Note: C, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517.

Footnote 1: See: Josephus Daniels to Sims, 8 May 1917. The “mobile destroyer base” was at Queenstown, Ireland. For more on the debate concerning the stationing of American forces in European waters, see: Sims to Navy Department, 5 May 1917.

Footnote 2: On 30 April, Sims sent a cablegram stating that: “As consultations with Admiralty will frequently be required, it is essential that I have experienced representative at base of our forces at all times.” He then requested Capt. William V. Pratt sent to him to serve as his “Chief of staff, and Taylor, Evans or Daniels or Coffey as aid.” These were: Cmdr. Montgomery M. Taylor, then commander of Maine, Lt. Cmdr. Frank T. Evans, then attending Naval War College, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph P. Daniels, then at the Naval Academy, and Lt. Reuben B. Coffey, then attending the Naval War College. Sims said that Joseph P. Daniels was ordered to join him on 30 April, and arrived on 17 May. Naval Investigation 1: 206. Despite repeated requests from Sims, Pratt remained in Washington, D.C., and in July 1917, became the aide of operations for the chief of naval operations. Ibid., 206-8, 1199.

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