Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

Admiral House,     

Queenstown,   

20. 10. 18.   

My dear Admiral,

          Thanks for a most interesting letter.1 I sincerely trust that you men of action in London will not allow the kidgloved politicians to let us down.

There are two matter[s] I want to draw to your notice. One is the number of collisions and accidents that are happening, and which (in my opinion) are closely related to the untrained youngsters in command of the destroyers. A man may be Executive Officer of a destroyer for years, and never handle one, and although you want good men in your new destroyers, we want good and experienced men over here, and the winter is only beginning.

Another is that when a destroyer such as the Caldwell is sent for a week to Devonport,2 it means a serious loss to us. We lose her during the time going there and returning, and if away during full moon she (my best listening ship) is a serious loss to me in the Irish Sea if she is not used in an escort. It hardly seems fair onus here, especially with Davie Shaw Balch Paulding all out of action in collisions

Very sorry to hear about Daniels; poor boy.3 In his position it would be a great thing to have a son in the Naval Academy. It is very hard to understand why these things are done, why one man should lose his son in this way, to whom his son is everything. But it is no use trying to see the reason; some day we shall know.

Yours very sincerely         

Sgd – Lewis Bayly, 

Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 24. The heading “Admiral Sims/Personal File” and identifier “1/6/J” appear at the top of the page.

Footnote 1: See: Sims to Bayly, 17 October 1918.

Footnote 2: Devenport was the shipyard where vessels in Bayly’s squadron went for repair work.

Footnote 3: Cmdr. Joseph F. Daniels, a member of Sims’ staff, lost his only son to pneumonia. He had been accepted to the Naval Academy, but died before he could join his class; see, Sims to Capt. Hutchison I. Cone, 17 October 1918, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 52.

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