Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Patrol Squadron Based at Gibraltar
September 12, 1917.
From: Force Commander.
To: Commander, Patrol Squadrons based on Gibraltar.
Subject: Monthly meeting of Commanding Officers on vessels engaged in Anti-submarine operations.
The following is a copy of the confidential order issued by the Vice-Admiral commanding the Irish Station:-
“There will be a meeting of Commanding Officers of sloops, destroyers and special service ships about once a month when the greatest number of ships are present in the port for those who wish to give suggestions for the best means of sinking submarines and protecting the trade based on actual experiences, either personal or what has been gained by others.
2. Descriptions of past experiences are not required, nor are suggestions of a nature that are impracticable owing to difficulty of obtaining material, weather on this station, or interference with the work laid down for us by the Admiralty.
3. Not more than one day’s notice will usually be given, sometimes less”.
I should be pleased if similar meetings could be arranged with the local authorities so as to provide for closer cooperation and a mutual understanding of methods, particularly where Allied forces are operating together. This conference should be, of course, under the senior Allied officer, and is suggested merely as a means of indoctrinating all our forces, and in making progress in anti-submarine operations. . . .
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers appear at the top of the first page: “609-34/5/19” “1/5/C”. Addressed below close: “Copy to Commander, Patrol Squadron based on France.” The remainder of the documents is a report on a naval conference held 8 September. A more complete version was sent on 15 September. See: Sims to Daniels, 15 September 1917.