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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels


12 October, 1918.  

From:-         Force Commander.

To:-           Secretary of the Navy, (Operations – Aviation).


     1.   Captain H[utchison].I. Cone, U. S. Navy, Aide for Aviation, U. S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, was among the survivors rescued from the Dublin Mail Boat LEINSTER, sunk in the Irish Channel on October 10, 1918.1 He received compound fracture of the right leg below the knee and severe injuries to his left ankle together with general bruises and exposure from being in the water. He is now in Dublin Hospital, being attended by Surgeon H[arry]. H. Lane, U. S. Navy and W[illiam]. L. Irvine, U.S. Navy.

     2.   Captain D[avid]. C. Hanrahan, U. S. Navy, Commander, Northern Bombing Group, reports that he has been informed by the General Officer Commanding 5th Group R.A.F. that Lieutenant (j.g.) D[avid]. S. Ingalls, USNRF., who was recently attached to the British Squadron No. 213 in which he served as Flight Commander for a time, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his gallant work in combat with the enemy.2 He is credited with the destruction of one <enemy> aircraft alone, and with having shared in the destruction of 8 others and a kite balloon, which fell in flames upon its hangar burning the surrounding buildings.

     3.   From September 29 to October 8, 1918, inclusive, no sightings of submarines were reported at the U. S. Naval Air Station, Killingholme, - the longest period of no sightings since April. At Dunkirk, during the period of September 28 to October 4, 1918 inclusive, no submarines were sighted. It is interesting to note these facts with regard to the reported withdrawal of German activities from the Belgian Coast.3

     4.   On September 27, 1918, seaplane P.M. 129, pilot Ensign E. S. Pau, USNRF., observer Duffy and P.M. 134, pilot Ensign Tuttle, observer W. Herley, while on patrol from Ile Tudy came upon trawlers about 8 miles south of Penmarch firing on a mine. An oil spot was sighted and the faint silhouette of a submarine. Two bombs were dropped, no results being observed.

     5.   FRENCH UNIT. L’Aber-Vrach. On Oct. 3, 1918, while on formation flying on patrol two HS-1’s were obliged, owing to motor trouble, to make forced landings 14 miles at sea. Two other HS-1’s on patrol returned to the Station, reported the location, and Station Boat left at 6 p.m. No rescue of the pilots was possible in the rough sea by aircraft. Pilots and crews were finally taken off, but one machine had drifted 20 miles. The stationing in this area of a sea-worthy rescue boat of 110 ft. type would be of assistance in dealing with similar emergencies...

W.A. EDWARDS4          

By direction.           

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifier “A-7” appears near the top-left side of the first page.

Footnote 1: The passenger steamer RMS Leinster was torpedoed and sunk by U-123 with approximately 530 casualties;, consulted 3 October 2018. Cone recovered from his injuries and returned to duty. For more on the sinking, see: Sims to Benson, 11 October 1918.

Footnote 2: David S. Ingalls was the Navy’s first flying “ace” and the most successful American naval aviator of the war. For more on his exploits, see, Geoffrey L. Rossano, ed., Hero of the Angry Sky: The World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America’s First Naval Ace (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2013), passim.

Footnote 4: Lt. Cmdr. Walter A. Edwards, a member of the Aviation Section on Sims’ staff.

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