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

September 11th. 1917.

My dear Admiral,

          Your letter of the 7th.1 reached me only yesterday and I thank you very much for your very kind invitation for me to remain for a few days after the Commander-in-Chief2 leaves for America.

          He is returning from the Grand Fleet3 today, and will leave on Friday for Paris. I suppose there will be some functions for him to attend there not counting consultations with General Pershing4 and so forth.

          It is his present intention to visit Brest and possibly Bordeaux and return to London, possibly by way of the Western Front. I do not expect to accompany him on the latter expedition, but will return directly to London. Just when he will reach London I do not know, or when he expects to leave for Queenstown, but he has told me he expects to take the steamer on the 29th.5 I am not quite sure yet whether there is a steamer sailing on that day but I will let you know all details later.

          Captain Pringle has let you know the Commander-in Chief’s ideas about the organization of the Flotilla6, but as this has already been put up to our Navy Department and settled, I feel sure there will be no change. The Navy Department realizes that the Flotilla is now engaged in a special mission and that the proper organization must take second place. They also realize that the advice of the man at the “Front” who is responsible will have to govern it. I believe the Commander-in-Chief will also recognise this when he looks into the situation.

          I hope the weather during his visit will be good enough to us to give him a game or so of cricket. I do not know whether or not the Admiral plays the game, but in any event you will find him a very level headed and agreeable man.

Very sincerely yours,        

Source Note: TL, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Container 47. Addressed below close: “Vice Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N./Admiralty House,/Queenstown,/Ireland.”

Footnote 1: See, Bayly to Sims, 7 September 1917, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Container 23.

Footnote 2: Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 3: The British Grand Fleet was stationed at Rosyth, Scotland, in the Firth of Forth. See: Mayo to Caroline Wing Mayo, 11 September 1917.

Footnote 4: Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces.

Footnote 5: Mayo arrived in Queenstown on 28 September; he sailed from Liverpool on 4 October aboard St. Louis.

Footnote 6: Capt. Joel R. Poinsett Pringle, Chief of Staff, Destroyer Flotillas. For Mayo’s ideas concerning organization of the destroyer flotilla, see: Sims to William V. Pratt, 7 September 1917

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