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Documentary Histories

General Bulletin #15


U.S.S. MELVILLE, Flagship,

London.          13 November, 1918.


     1. Admiral Sims’ message to General Pershing1 reads:

          “The American Naval Forces in European Waters present to General Pershing and the gallant armies under his command their heartfelt congratulations upon the glorious victory to which they have so greatly contributed by their skill, courage, endurance and self devotion.

          “And let me add, my dear General, my own very sincere congratulations upon the success of your brilliant leadership.”

     2. The Force Commander sent to Admiral di Revel2 the following message:

          “For myself and on behalf of the officers and men of the United States Naval Forces in Europe, I congratulate you and through you the Italian Navy on the successful termination to-day of the four years of war waged against the aggression of the Teutonic Alliance. The Navy of Italy has borne its due share of the difficult tasks imposed by the four years of war and has brilliantly acquitted itself, having performed deeds of daring which will adorn the pages of history. The officers and men of my command deem it an honor to have been associated with the Italian Navy in this great war for liberty and are confident that the friendship and mutual understanding established in these times of stress will endure after peace has been achieved.”

     3. In a letter received by the Force Commander, Admiral di Revel says:

          “I have much appreciated your congratulations on the Durazzo enterprise, and have great pleasure in pointing out that its success was very largely due to American co-operation and to the skillful and seamen-like way in which your chasers were handled both in protecting our larger craft from enemy submarines and in counter attacking the latter, two of which they succeeded in sinking.”

     4. In a message to Vice Admiral de Bon3 the Force Commander said:

          “On this day which marks the practical termination of the war against the Central Empires I extend to you and through you to the French Navy my personal congratulations and those of the officers and men under my command on the brilliant record made by the French Navy during the four years of war now happily ended. We deem it an honor to have been associated in this war with the Navy of the French Republic and feel confident that the mutual friendship and confidence which have been inspired by our association will continue unabated after the conclusion of peace.”

     5. Mayor Rolph, of San Francsico,4 cabled the Force Commander on November 12th:

          “To you and our gallant Naval Forces San Francisco sends heartfelt congratulations and thanks.”

     6. The Secretary of the Navy5 sent the following message to Sir Eric Geddes, First Lord of the Admiralty:

          “My hearty congratulations. This is the greatest day in 2,000 years of history. All of the 500,000 men of the American Navy send greetings to you and your great Navy.”

          “One of the things for which we are the happiest is that the two English-speaking Navies have co-operated to achieve the glorious result.”

Force Commander’s Office,         

Intelligence Section.        

Source Note: TD, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 24.

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, and Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces.

Footnote 2: VAdm. Paolo Thaon di Revel, Commander-in-Chief, Italian Fleet, and Italian Naval Chief of Staff.

Footnote 3: Adm. Ferdinand Jean Jacques de Bon, Chief of the French Naval Staff.

Footnote 4: James Rolph.

Footnote 5: Josephus Daniels.

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