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Deputy Secretary of the British Admiralty Charles Walker to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


S E C R E T.

Admiralty, S.W.1.       

17th October, 1918.


The Force Commander,


          I am to transmit herewith for your information a copy of a letter which has been received from the Commander-in-Chief, Devenport, on the subject of protection of Shipping and Submarine hunting in the Plymouth Command.1

     2.   The result of the Conference was that the Convoy system was introduced on the 15th October, and extra trawlers provided for thatpurpose. There will be eleven trawlers protecting each Convoy, 6 on escort and 5 on the patrol lines; besides 4 divisions of the Southern Patrol Force disposed along the North Cornish Coast. The Convoys will be escorted to and from a position east of Lundy Island and Penzance.

     3.   I am to request, if no objection is seen, that you will authorise the employment of the U.S.A. submarine chasers as additional escorts as it is considered that their employment in this manner would be the surest way of getting in contact with enemy submarines.2


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document identifier: “1/3.”

Footnote 1: The letter from VAdm. Sir Cecil F. Thursby has not been found.

Footnote 2: In a later report to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, dated 5 November, Sims wrote that the operations of the submarine chasers at Plymouth were “initiated by the British Commander-in-Chief at Plymouth,” it is almost certain that Sims agreed to this request. RG 45, Entry 517B. Interestingly, on the same day the commander of the American Patrol Detachment forwarded the results of exercises carried out in American waters that demonstrated the “feasibility of the employment of at submarine chasers” as convoy escorts.” See, Edward A. Anderson to Henry B. Wilson, 17 October 1918, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 415.

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