Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
17th November 1917.
From: Force Commander.
To : Secretary of the Navy (Operations – Aviation)
SUBJECT: Aviation – Weekly Report of Operations.
Lieutenant G.de Chevalier, U.S.N.1 has assumed command of the Aviation Station at Dunkirk.
Asst.Paymaster A.J.Stockhausen U.S.N.R.F2 has been detailed as Supply Officer.
The enlisted personnel of this Station at the present time consists of 52 men who are engaged in constructional work preliminary to beginning of flying operations. Arrangements have been made with the Commanding Officer of the R.N.A.S.Station at Dunkirk to supply our Station there for the present, until permanent arrangements have been made in this connection.
Lieutenant Chevalier has qualified as a French Military Aviator.
Lieutenant Commander A.J.Stone U.S.N.3 has just returned from Dunkirk and states that bombing operations are carried out against Allied Aviation Bases at Dunkirk almost nightly by the Germans. Also that the R.N.A.S. Station at St.Pol which was capable of overhauling and re-constructing sixteen seaplanes a week has been practically wiped out by the German
s bombs and heavy gun fire. Mr. Stone states that there are eight seaplanes crated and ready for assembling at Dunkirk, but that only one hangar is in place, and that these machines cannot therefore be erected until other hangars are assembled and additional men ordered to Dunkirk for this purpose.
The complement of this Station will be 200 enlisted personnel when operating in full commission, and it is probable that this number will be assembled there within the next week.
Routine Flying and Practice for Pilots and Observers, Number of Flights made during week ending November 10th – 40. Total time in air – twelve hours and five minutes for Lieutenant H.T.Bartlett, U.S.N. and 2nd Lieutenant I.I.Guichard, French Army.4
The lake of Cazaux is considered too small for Gunnery practice.
3. SAN RAPHAEL
The following machines have been tested:-
Le Tellier Flying boat.
Levi-Benson, triplane single motor flying boat Borel, twin float twin motor tractor biplane.
4. LE CROISIC.
Lieutenant W.N.Corry, Jnr. U.S.N.5 assumed command of the Station at Le Croisic November 8th.
The following Officers have reported for duty:-
Lieutenant J.L.Callan U.S.N.R.F.
Ensign H.H.Landon U.S.N.R.F.
Asst.Paymaster I.C.Bequette U.S.N.
Chief Electrician O.E.Williams U.S.N.6
Work progressing on barracks which have been occupied by enlisted personnel. Hydroplanes Nos.71, 72 and 74 being assembled.
Factory and hangars of Astra Co. inspected and also seaplanes under construction at Villa-Coublay and Works at St.Cyr. Four Officers on preliminary trials of the Bigatti Motor.
The formation of an Aeroplane Production Committee temporarily held up pending the arrival of a General Officer who has authority to create it.
Civil Engineers E.H.Brownell, U.S.N. and A.W.K. Billings, U.S.N.R.F.,7 reported for duty in connection with constructional work for Aviation Bases and were further ordered to report to Commander U.S.Naval Aviation Forces Foreign Service.8
Mr.Brownell made a complete inspection of the R.N.A.S. Station at Felixstowe before leaving for Paris.
Lieutenant Z.Lansdowne,U.S.N. and Lieutenant (j.g.) R.Kiely, U.S.N.9 have completed their course in Airship work at Cranwell and have received certificates of qualification as Airship Pilots.
Lieutenant Lansdowne will inspect the two Zero S.S. Airships building for the U.S. Navy at Wormwood Scrubbs,10 and which are now ready for their final acceptance trials. Lieutenant Kiely will remain at Cranwell for the present.
There are 15 seamen – 2cl.U.S.Navy undergoing training at Roehampton as Airship Pilots, and 30 enlisted personnel at Cranwell being trained in ground work, from which they will graduated as a crew for an airship. A syllabus of the course at Roehampton is attached hereto.11
Lieutenant W.A.Edwards, U.S.N. has been assigned to my Staff as Aide for Aviation, and in addition, as Liaison Officer to the British Admiralty. In return, the Admiralty have designated Lieut.Comdr.G.C.Neilson, U.S.N.R.F.|10| Aide to the Fifth Sea Lord,12 as Liaison Officer to this Office.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification number “R.2709. 4/1/9/” appears in the upper-left corner.
Footnote 1: Lt. Godfrey de C. Chevalier.
Footnote 2: Asst. Paymaster Thomas G. Stockhausen.
Footnote 3: Lt. Cmdr. A.J. Stone, U.S.N.R.F.
Footnote 4: Lt. Harold T. Bartlett and a French officer whose full name has not been found.
Footnote 5: Lt. William M. Corry Jr.
Footnote 6: Lt. John L. Callan; En. Henry H. Landon; and Asst. Paymaster John C.Bequette.
Footnote 7: Ernest H. Brownell and Asa W.K. Billings.
Footnote 8: Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, United States Naval Aviation Forces in Europe.
Footnote 9: Lt. Zachary Lansdowne and Lt. Ralph Kiely.
Footnote 10: An open space, generally set aside for public use, in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London.
Footnote 11: Enclosure not found.
Footnote 12: RAdm. Sir Godfrey Paine, who also served as Chief of Naval Aviation.