Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

[Extract]

U.S.NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS

Battleship Division Nine

UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET

U.S.S.NEW YORK, Flagship.

[Scapa Flow, Scotland]

13 October 1918.   

From:     Commander BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE.

To:       Force Commander.        

Subject:  General Report – Week ending 12 October 1918.

     1.   MOVEMENTS OF VESSELS.

          Saturday, noon, October 12th, the Division sailed from a southern for the northern base for target practice, and arrived Sunday morning,October 13th.

     2.   PARAVANES.

          The TEXASparavane gear failed to function due to trouble with her towing chains and type of skag. She was compelled to proceed without setting them; a risky business in this part of the world.

     3.   MINES.

          It is reported that a light cruiser squadron recently ran into an enemy’s minefield and cut adrift twenty-nine mines.

     4.   RECOVERY OF AIRPLANE AND BODY.

          A month or more ago two airplanes operating at the southern base [Rosyth], simulating attacks on this Division, collided in the air and fell into the water. One plane and one operator were recovered by one of our ships, the other plane sunk, and two observers were lost. On getting underway, Saturday, October 12th, the lost plane, containing one body, was recovered by the WYOMING’s anchor and turned over to the British authorities.

     5.   SUBMARINE OR SPLASH.

          Sunday morning, shortly after daylight, sea calm, good visibility, just outside of the Pentland Firth, to the westward, I, amongst others sighted distinctly a heavy break or splash about 2500 yards astern of<,> and a little on the port quarter of the FLORIDA. My glasses were on the spot when it happened<,> but I am unable to state positively whether it was a submarine breaching for a view, or a whale, as it was too large for any other fish. It was fairly in the track of submarines bound to the northward of Scotland, and I believe it to have been one. . . .

Hugh Rodman            

Source Note: DTS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 381. Document identifier at top of first page: “File 7” and “3/L.”

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