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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Vice Admiral Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander, Naval Forces, Southern Ireland



October 17th. 1917.

My dear Admiral,

     . . . .I think you will be amused by the following telegram that was sent by an important business man in America to an important one in London. "For conditions in Washington, see Acts 19, verse 32 and Esther 8, verse 16".1

     I assume you have a Bible in the house or at least can find one on the station somewhere. . . .

     Yesterday I cabled the Navy Department requesting permission to take over and man a mystery ship. This morning I received this cable:—"Approved. Make all necessary arrangements."

     I am writing by this mail to Pringle concerning certain preliminary arrangements that he can make, and this will be followed by an official communication as soon as I can arrange matters with the Admiralty.2

     Pringle will of course consult you at once as to the suggestions that I have made in this personal letter to him. If you don't approve I hope that you will not hesitate to let me know at once. I have recommended that he submit to me, after consultation with you, the names of the officers who volunteer for this service, and that he inform me privately as to the officers which you and he agree should be designated for this service. I have done this because I want to assume full responsibility for the choice.

     I was very much gratified to have news this morning that the CASSIN had arrived in port and that her casualties were not worse than already reported. I have written a letter to Vernou3 on this subject to cheer him up a bit, as I have no doubt that he must be feeling depressed. I have asked him to include in his report all possible details that can be of use in the way of experience for our other boats.4

     If it is practicable I think it would be well for the report to be accompanied by a photograph of the damaged part of the CASSIN after she is in dock.5

     I do not remember whether or not I told you that the Navy Department has decided that all the new destroyers to be built, both those already appropriated for and the one hundred and fifty boats that are to be taken in hand immediately, will be 35 knot boats of the best type we can build, instead of 28 knots boats they first proposed to build. I believe this decision was arrived at when they concluded that the better boats could be built as rapidly as those of the special type that were first proposed.

     I thank you again very much for your invitation to visit you at Christmas and I shall certainly do so unless I am absolutely prevented. I shall also like to run up again before that for a brief visit, but I cannot be sure that I can do so.

Very sincerely yours,             

WM. S. Sims                  

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 47. Signature is stamped. Addressed below close: "Vice Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly/Admiralty House/Queenstown. Ireland."

Footnote 1: In the King James Bible, Act 19, Verse 32 is: “Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.” Esther Chapter 8, Verse 16 is: “For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor.”

Footnote 3: Lt. Cmdr. Walter N. Vernou. Sims’ letter to Vernou has not been found, but he summarized its contents in a letter to his wife. See: Sims to Sims, 21 October 1917.

Footnote 4: For the Cassin being torpedoed, see: Report on the attack on Cassin, 15 October 1917; and War Diary of U-61, 15 October 1917.

Footnote 5: This photograph is available in the October Illustrations page, see: U.S.S. Cassin.