Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Destroyers Operating from British Bases, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

CABLE DISPATCH

SENT 30th May, 1917.                  TO: Sec. Nav.  Operations

THROUGH: State Department.

     During a conference by appointment yesterday with the French Chief of Naval Staff1 he expressed the wish that a representative not below the grade of Captain be assigned to the French Navy Department (stop) Although I am in touch with French Department through their naval representative here,2 and also by telephone and telegraph, and can always reach Paris in short time it is considered that the request should be granted, as it will insure closer daily co-operation and co-ordination.3 It is also considered that active officers preferably with knowledge of French should be assigned to our prospective bases in France.

SIMS.

NO. OF COPIES.  4.                       REFERENCE NO.

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

Footnote 1: Adm. Ferdinand Jean Jacques de Bon.

Footnote 2: Adm. Maurice Henri Baron Mercier de Lostende, French Naval Attaché at London.

Footnote 3: As a result of this request, Capt. Richard H. Jackson was ordered to France to act as Sims’ representative at the Ministry of Marine. Also in June RAdm. William B. Fletcher arrived in France in command of American yachts sent over to serve as an anti-submarine force. The arrival of Jackson and Fletcher and the continued presence of Lt. Cmdr. William R. Sayles, the American Naval Attaché at Paris, created a “confusing and inefficient command system” as all three were ordered to report to Sims “but no effort was made to delineate their specific responsibility.” Still, Crisis at Sea: 50-51.

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