Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United State Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Lieutenant Commander Charles R. Train, United States Naval Attaché in Rome

CABLEGRAM SENT  6 May  EWC  <1918.>

To  Alusna  Rome                         Serial No.   70

Prep. by   CS          32 ARD

VERY SECRET.

70  Your 112.1  Inform Chief of Staff2 that in accordance with decision of allied Naval Council the first thirty-six submarine chasers to arrive in the Mediterranean are to be employed exclusively in offensive operations against submarines and cannot be employed for escort duty. In any case the one hundred ten foot boats are not well suited for escort work, When Ford destroyers become available,3 if it is found that they are suited for escort work, it may be possible to allocate some of them as requested by Chief of Staff, but this is a matter which should be referred to the Allied Naval Council for decision. <17306.> 70

SIMS.         

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifiers: “S M F” and in columnar fashion: “1/5/6/B/J.”

Footnote 1: See: Train to Sims, 5 May 1918.

Footnote 2: Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Adm. Paolo Thaon di Revel.

Footnote 3: Sims was referring to submarine chasers known as Eagle Boats that were being mass-produced by the Ford Motor Company. These were larger than the 110-foot submarine chasers Sims referred to earlier in this cable, were faster, and to have a greater operational radius. The Ford Eagle Boats never saw service in World War I. Frank A. Cianflone, “The Eagle Boats of Word War I,” United States Naval Institute Proceedings, vol. 99, no. 6 (June, 1973), 76-80.