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 Rear Admiral Heathcoat S. Grant, R.N., Senior Naval Officer at Gibraltar

November 5, 1917.

My dear Admiral Grant,

          I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of October 23rd in reference to the detachment of Admiral Wilson1 from the command of our forces based on Gibraltar.

          I can assure you that it was with great regret that I was obliged to detach Admiral Wilson, but the necessities of the case left nothing else to be done. Conditions at Brest were such as to demand an immediate change and Wilson was the only officer available.

          I have been notified from Washington that Rear Admiral Niblack2 is now on his way out to Gibraltar, via London, to take over this command. He is an able officer and has had extended experience abroad. He has been twice Naval Attache in Europe, and is one of our most prolific writers on the subject of Naval tactics, etc.3 He is a graduate of our Naval War College. In addition to this he is a man of fine personality and I am sure you will like him. I regret very much that you have been at all inconvenienced by the detachment of Admiral Wilson.

          I need hardly say how gratifying it is to me that you have found our officers of the forces we have sent to Gibraltar efficient and useful in our war against the submarine.

Very sincerely yours,   

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 23. Addressed below close: “Rear Admiral H.S. Grant, R.N./Senior Naval Officer’s Office,/Gibraltar.” Document in: “Admiral Sims’ personal files.”

Footnote 1: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson was transferred to command the American naval forces in France.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Albert P. Niblack.

Footnote 3: Niblack previously served as United States Naval Attache in Rome and Berlin.

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