Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Albert P. Niblack, Commander, United States Naval Forces at Gibraltar
November 9, 1917.
From: Force Commander
To: Senior Officer, Patrol Squadrons based on Gibraltar.
Subject: Sinking of Ocean Escorts.
The following information on the recent sinking of ocean escorts is forwarded for the information of all concerned. It has been compiled partly from official reports and partly from reports of witnesses:-
The ORAMA was torpedoed while in position as leader of the centre column (WA) of a convoy while under destroyer escort. The torpedo was fired from the port flank of the convoy and passed just ahead ahead of the leader of the VA column and struck the ORAMA on the port side. At the time the torpedo was fired the destroyer escort on the port flank of the convoy was weakened somewhat by destroyers withdrawn to communicate with vessels in the convoy. The torpedo was seen, but too late to manoeuvere the ship. The ORAMA was not zigzagging, nor was the convoy.
The DUNDEE left her position and dropped astern of the convoy to communicate with one of the vessels that was lagging in rear. When attempting to communicate the DUNDEE was torpedoed while considerably astern of the formation. She was not zigzagging at the time.
The BOSTONIAN left the regularly assigned position for ocean escort and proceed about three-quarters of a mile ahead of the formation which was at the time under destroyer escort. The BOSTONIAN while signaling to vessels in the convoy was torpedoed. She was not zigzagging, nor was the convoy.
WM. S. SIMS
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Sims’ signature at the bottom of the document is a stamp.