Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

Subject Copy.                            File No. <25-9-5c>

Cablegram Sent May 15 <16,> 1918.  

To Opnav Washington.                     Serial No. 7984 LEM

Prep. by CS                      NCT1  D.R.

33 ARD                       

VERY SECRET

7984 Plans were being perfected to send USS BALCH USS DOWNES and USS PARKER to Mediterranean Sea to operate with submarine chasers based on Corfu, but in view of Department’s cable 60022 execution of plan is temporarily suspended. In order to send these vessels without reduction of force at Base Six [Queenstown, Ireland] available for escort duty, it was planned to send no more destroyers up for refit until USS MCDOUGAL USS CASSIN and USS STOCKTON had completed repairs and were again in service. This would be about June tenth. USS PARKER damaged in collision with HMS ENGADINE, will probably require one month’s repairs. Details not yet known. While I consider it important that our destroyers should proceed to Mediterranean, I do not feel justified in sending them at present in the face of the Department’s cable 6002 without Department’s specific instructions to do so. Captain R.H.Leigh3 will proceed to Corfu to inaugurate operations of hunting squadrons, and will then return to London, leaving local command to Commander C.P. Nelson.4 Admiralty promised to supply destroyers temporarily until one can be sent, but this arrangement will not be as efficient as it would be to have our own destroyers. 7984 <03416.>

SIMS          

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten but corresponds with the time/date stamp at the end of the text, which is also handwritten.

Footnote 1: “CS” was chief of staff, which was Capt. Nathan C. Twining (“NCT”).

Footnote 3: Capt. Richard H. Leigh.

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Charles P. Nelson.