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 Captain Richard H. Jackson, American Naval Representative in Paris

October 16, 1917.  

FROM: Force Commander.

TO  : Captain R. H. Jackson, U. S. Navy,

          Ministry of Marine, Paris, France.

SUBJECT: Cable and Telegraph Communications.

     1.   Cable and telegraph communications to and from the Force Commander, Headquarters, London, and U. S. Naval Forces and Officials in France will be handled as hereinafter described.

     2.   The U.S. Naval Communication Office in the Ministry of Marine, Paris, will become the distributing point for the following named forces, dispatches being sent direct from the Headquarters, Force Commander, London, to cable address Jackson Marine, Paris via private Admiralty-Ministry cable, who will be responsible for their further transmission and delivery to the Forces concerned:

          (a) Ministry of Marine.

          (b) Staff Representative, Paris, France.1

          (c) War Department despatches for General Pershing.2

          (d) Dispatches for U. S. Red Cross Headquarters,

               Paris, France.

          (e) Headquarters U. S. Naval Aviation Force, Foreign

               Service, Paris, France.

          (f) Headquarters, U. S. Army, Paris.

     3.   Cable or telegraphic dispatches originating with any of the foregoing forces or officials destined to the Force Commander or points in the United States, vessels in U. S. Waters or points in Great Britain, will be sent via the U. S. Naval Communication Office, Paris, direct to the Headquarters, Force Commander, London, cable address, “Simsadus” London, where same will be further transmitted to the specified destination.

     4.   The U.S. Naval Communication Office at the Headquarters of the Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons in French Waters, Brest, France,3 will become the distributing point, and will be responsible for the proper transmission and delivery of telegraph and cable dispatches to the following named forces:

(a) Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons in French

Waters, Brest.

(b) Naval Port Officer, St. Nazaire, France.4

(c) Naval Port Officer, Bordeaux, France.5

(d) U. S. Vessels in French Waters.

     5.   Dispatches from the Force Commander, London, to any of the foregoing forces will be sent direct to the Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons in French Waters, Brest, France, cable address, Ampat, Brest, via the London-Havre-Brest cable. Dispatches originating with any of the foregoing forces destined to the Force Commander, London or points in the United States, vessels in U. S. Waters, or points in Great Britain, will be sent via the U. S. Naval Communication Office, Brest, France, to the Headquarters of the Force Commander, London, cable address, “Simsadus” London, where same will be further transmitted to the specified destination. The one exception to this line of communication through the Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons in French Waters, Headquarters, Brest, France, will be as contained in the Force Commander’s letter No. 1290 of October 10, 1917, in which U. S. Naval Port Officers are directed to report arrivals and departures of the following classes of vessels direct to the Force Commander, London, using cable address, “Simsadus” London, these reports being in addition to any that may be required by the Commander, Patrol Squadrons in French Waters, at Brest:6

U. S. Men-of-War. (Not including vessels of these

forces)

          U. S. Naval Auxiliaries.

          U. S. Troop Transports.

          U. S. Supply Transports.

          U. S. Chartered Vessels.

The London Havre-Brest cable should be used.

     6.   Dispatches concerning Policies or Plans for the operations of our forces will be sent to the Staff Representative, Paris, for the information of the Ministry of Marine, and the Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons at Brest. Dispatches which concern both the Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons in French Waters, and the Naval Staff Representative, Paris, will be sent to Jackson Marine, Paris, with a multiple address for Brest and Paris, and the Naval Communication Office will transmit same to Brest immediately. Mailed confirmation copies of all dispatches cabled to Brest and the Naval Port Officers at St. Nazaire and Bordeaux will be sent to the Staff Representative, Paris, for his information, and copies of all cable dispatches originating with the Commander, Patrol Squadrons in French Waters and Naval Port Officer at St. Nazaire and Brest will be mailed to Staff Representative, Paris, for the information of the Ministry of Marine and Staff Representative, Paris.

     7.   The Ministry of Marine should be requested by the Staff Representative, Paris, to forward to the U. S. Naval Communication Office of the Staff Representative, only those dispatches addressed, Jackson Marine, Paris. Any dispatches received in the Ministry of Marine for the registered cable addresses, Ampat, Ambase or Amport, should be transmitted immediately to the destination without reference or delivery to the U. S. Naval Communication Office in the Ministry of Marine.

     8.   The following registered cable addresses will be used by the aforementioned forces for cable and telegraph communication between forces and officials in France and the Force Commander, London:-

     Headquarters, Force Commander,

          London, ----------------------- Simsadus, London.

     Staff Representative, Paris, ------- Jackson, Marine, Paris

     Commander, U. S. Patrol Squadrons

          based on French Coast, Brest, -- Ampat, Brest.

     Naval Port Officer, Bordeaux, ------- Ambase, Bordeaux.

     Naval Port Officer, St. Nazaire, ---- Amport, St. Nazaire.

     9. Naval Port Officers at St. Nazaire and Bordeaux communicating arrivals and departures direct to the Force Commander, London, should address cables, “Simsadus” London, and immediately investigate the most expeditious route to London, whether via Paris and the private cable between the French Ministry and British Admiralty, or by telegraph to Havre, using the Havre-London cable.

     10.  In the transmission of cable and telegraph dispatches, the Naval Dispatch Form will be used. Attention is invited to Chapter 11, Pages 83 and 84, U. S. Naval Radio Regulations.7

     11.  Dispatches to and from the Force Commander, and the several forces, in which the dispatch is meant for the addressee, the cable address only will be used. Dispatches to and from the Force Commander and the several forces in which the dispatch is to be further transmitted to a ship or station, the cable address and Radio Signal Call shall be used. In transmitting Radio Signal Calls use the words signifying the letters or numerals as contained on Page 10, Paragraph 274, U. S. Naval Radio Regulations.

     12.  Each force and official will keep a separate sequence of numbers with every other force and official with whom he has cause to communicate, each dispatch being numbered in sequence and this serial number transmitted as the first word of the dispatch. In referring to dispatches, refer to the serial number, rather than the reference number at the end of the dispatch. The sequence of received dispatches should not be broken and when such a case occurs, a dispatch should be sent advising same. The reference number at the end of the dispatch should be the time the dispatch leaves the office of origin. Every dispatch will be accompanied by a time reference number, see Page 63, U. S. Naval Radio Regulations. Confirmation copies of all dispatches transmitted by cable or telegraph will be sent through the mail to the addressee; if the cable was transmitted in code, the coded confirmation will be sent, and, if the cable was transmitted enclair, the enclair confirmation will be sent. Attention is invited to Naval Instructions, Paragraph 5341, sub-paragraph 1 to 10 inclusive and Paragraphs 5342 and 5349 inclusive.8

     13. The Navy Code Box and Ciphers will be used; the British cipher “Q” and Reciphering Tables being used as a secondary means.

WM. S. SIMS,  

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The signature is a stamp. There is a notation in the top left-hand corner: “F.” There is also a running head at the top of each page: “SUBJECT: Cable and Telegraph Communications.” The question of who controlled communications and the delivery of messages was a point of controversy involving Jackson and RAdm. William B. Fletcher. Fletcher Court of Inquiry, DNA, RG 125, Box 245, Entry 30, pp. 35-37. “Copies to:/Naval Port Officer, St. nazaire./Naval Port Officer, Bordeaux./Commander, U.S. Patrol Squadrons Based/on French Coast, Brest, France.”

Footnote 1: This was Capt. Richard H. Jackson.

Footnote 2: Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Force.

Footnote 3: RAdm. William B. Fletcher. On this same day Fletcher wrote the French Admiral in charge at Brest seeking permission to “install the necessary apparatus for receiving radio messages at the Headquarters of the U. S. Patrol Squadrons.” He informed the admiral that this would require erecting an aerial on top of the headquarters building and installing apparatus for receiving “long and short wave messages in one room of the building.” He assured the admiral that the United States would pay all costs associated with the installation as well as do the work. Fletcher to Contre-Amiral Schwerer, 16 October 1917, DNA, RG 125, Entry 30, Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Navy).

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Frank P. Baldwin was appointed to the post on 9 October. Ibid.

Footnote 5: Cmdr. John P. Patton.

Footnote 7: The regulations referred to here have not been found.

Footnote 8: The instructions referred to here have not been found.

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