Rear Admiral William B. Fletcher, Commander, Patrol Squadrons, French Waters, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
October 2 No. 69
TO SIMS Replying to your 17201 No. 36 Offshore escort of merchant vessels has been referred to Admiral Schwerer for his consideration (stop) More vessels will be needed suited for that work than are at present in sight (stop) Referring to off shore escort of transports there are only six of our vessels now here at all suited for that work, best sustained speed of slowest about twelve knots (stop) Moderate seas will cut down speed of all to ten knots or lower (stop) Five of these vessels left Quiberon September 29th with orders to escort six transports to Longitude 15º (stop) Distance off shore which escort should extend will depend on submarine reports given in war warnings and capabilities of vessels (stop) Small number of vessels at present suitable for off shore work makes it difficult for us alone to both escort vessels off shore and meet incoming vessels and the French must help. 17102
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Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 125, Entry 30, Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Navy). This document was an exhibit in the court of enquiry of RAdm. William B. Fletcher. At the top is the notation, "EXHIBIT 'T.'" At the bottom is a statmped notation, “A true copy/KMBennett”. This was Capt. Kenneth M. Bennett, U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate. There is an identical copy of this document, also presented as an exhibit in Fletcher's court of inquiriy, dated 3 October.