Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore W.A.H. Kelly, R.N., Commander, British Adriatic Force, Orders for American Submarine Chasers

MOST SECRET

No. 72/5.

H.M.S. LOWESTOFT        

1st October, 1918

ORDERS FOR AMERICAN SUBMARINE CHASERS

          A force of 12 American Submarine Chasers under Captain Nelson, U.S.N.,1 will take part in the operation acting as a submarine screen to vessels while bombarding.

     2.   This force will leave Brindisi at 0345 and proceed at 12 knots to a rendezvous 15 miles W.S.W. from Cape Durazzo, where they will be joined by the Italian Third Division and will proceed with them to the firing position. From the rendezvous the Third Division will be proceeding at a speed of 18 knots and the Chasers at 15 knots.

     3.   Before opening fire the Third Division will reduce to 8 knots and the chasers will take station as follows:-

     One sub-division of 3 Chasers at 1000 yards on each beam of the firing ships.

     If the chasers on the engaged side come under fire of the shore batteries, they will move out of gunfire, passing either ahead or astern, according to the position of the batteries engaging them.

     4.   While screening the Chasers will zigzag at 12 knots irregularly.

     5.   On the completion of the run made by the Third Division these 2 Divisions will close the British Light Cruisers and screen them in a similar fashion.

     6.   One sub-division of 3 Chasers will proceed North at 12 knots and patrol inside the destroyer patrol near Cape Pali, keeping out of range of coast batteries, and one sub-division of 3 Chasers will proceed South at 12 knots and patrol off Cape Laghi, also keeping out of range of shore batteries.

     7.   When the British Light Cruisers withdraw the whole of the American Chasers will rendezvous in the offing and will proceed under the orders of their Commanding Officer to the base ordered. In the event of any ship being seriously damaged by mine, torpedo or gunfire, the 2 subdivisions on the outer patrol will at once close her and act as a submarine screen and will continue to do so until ordered to the contrary. These 6 may be reinforced by the remaining 6 chasers according to circumstances.

(sd) W.A.H.KELLY        

COMMODORE COMMANDING

BRITISH ADRIATIC FORCE

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Addressed below close: “Captain Nelson,U.S.N./and all others concerned,/(Copy to each).”

Footnote 1: Cmdr. Charles P. Nelson, Commander, Submarine Chaser Detachment 2.

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