Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, United States Naval Aviation Forces, Foreign Service, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters



Origin- - - Jackson Marine Paris        Serial No. 408 AV 30

Via- - -  Q 271                             Date No. 16520

Copies to COS, JVB, WAE2                    File No.

Action referred to   Action taken     Date   Init     Ref. No.

     WAE       Communicate to Opnav   Nov.22  NAE

               Forwarded              Nov.23  EMC3    1636


408. 30 AV. At following places subject to alteration there will be located heavier than air stations. Treguier, Labervrach, Brest, Ile Tudy, Le Croisic, Fromentine, Saint Trojan, Dunkerque and Arcachon.4 Each of the following stations Arcachon, Brest, Fromentince will be equipped with 24 H 16 S seaplanes.5 Complement of each of the three stations will be 60 officers, 600 men. Each of the following stations, Trequier, Abervrach, Ile Tudy, Coisic, Saint Trojan will be equipped with twenty-four H.S.-1 or similar type.6 Complement of each of the stations will be 30 officers, 300 men. Dunkerque will be equipped with thirty-two seaplanes special type. Complement of 37 officers, 300 men. Lighter than air stations at Brest, Arcachon, La Rochelle and Croisic, Paimboeuf. Stations will have four dirigibles about 7,000 cubic meters capacity. Complement of each station 15 officers, 198 men. Proposed shop buildings with drawings of dirigible stations should be submitted for approval of Briscoe who should consult with Davis.7 Reference to 502 from Opnav;8 capacity of assembling plant as proposed namely assembling 4 new and overhauling 3 used machines daily satisfactory. Size of buildings and equipment necessary for this purpose both  directly and indirectly should be submitted for approval of Briscoe for final decision. He should consider that must be self contained.

     Your 77.9 Expedite all detailed plans buildings equipment and proposed arrangement. Order necessary track material and tools for immediate shipment to enable installation before buildings arrive, also locomotive crane if included permanent equipment. All shops and buildings should be so arrainged to be adapted to increased capacity. Consider future increased size of machines. Storage 500,000 gallons of gasoline adequate. Contemplating using assembling base as receiving station for personnel. Briscoe should select all special technical and mechanical personnel to completely man assembling plant which will be definitely located shortly.  Signed Cone.  16520. 01323,


9:15 PM  

Source Note: Cy, RG 45, Entry 517B. Notation at top of page: “Action Copy.” The message was sent for Cone by Capt. Richard H. Jackson, American Naval Representative in Paris.

Footnote 1: “Q 27” meant it was sent using a British Admiralty code.

Footnote 2: “COS” was Sims’ chief of staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining; “JVB” was Cmdr. John V. Babcock, Sims’ personal aide who also handled matters of intelligence; “WAE” was Lt. Walter A. Edwards, the aide for aviation on Sims’ staff.

Footnote 3: “Opnav” was the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, DC; “NAE” and “EMC” are the initials of coders/clerks at Sims’ headquarters; they have not been further identified.

Footnote 4: The stations were to be located at: Tréguier, L’Aber Vrach, Brest, Île Tudy, Le Croisic, Fromentine, St. Trojan, Dunkerque (Dunkirk), and Arcachon, all in France.

Footnote 5: That is, the Curtiss Model H-16 Flying Boat.

Footnote 6: That is, the Curtiss Model HS-1L.

Footnote 7: Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Briscoe, head of the newly established Assembly and Repair section of the Naval Aviation Force; Davis was presumably Lt. Cmdr. F.R.E. Davis, R.N., a British Admiralty construction expert. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat, 43, 209.

Footnote 8: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 9: This cable has not been found.