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

Admiralty House,   


30 . 9. 18

My dear Admiral,

          I have been away to Kingstown & Wexford or I would have written earlier. So very many thanks for getting Pringle off & helping him to cross over with a reasonable certainty of his return.1 When he returns safely, you must go over, and get refreshed for the spring offensive. I shall be very glad to get the Hannibal;2 the chasers are well under weigh now & I have hopes of them, but am not very certain that the best work is to be got out of them where a Warrant officer is in charge of a unit and Hepburn3 I think agrees. What they want more than anything else is a quick brain; they will soon learn the seamanship, and these young university boys are just the youngsters to succeed.

The seaplane stations are getting underway and beginning to patrol, and altogether your people are beginning to feel that they are now really helping; just as your destroyers were after they had got through their apprenticeship. Herbster at Wexford is a great boy;4 as keen as he can be, and very knowledgeable. I hope to get McCrary5 here for two days rest as he has had a continual cold, has been heavily worked, and wants to stand off for a day or two. I have been able to give Rodgers an escort for sub calibre in Bantry Bay,6 but have told him I cannot take the responsibility of escorting him outside to do heavy gun practice with S/Ms7 passing nearly every day. I like him very much, he shewed me the triple turrets the other day; they may be good but at present I prefer the double ones. But I like very much the blast screen between the guns inside the double turrets; we ought to have it.

I did not mean the other day to worry you for more destroyers because you know the situation as well as I do. What I want now is three of our K submarines to operate against these new German S/M’s from now on between about 47° & 51°, & 7° to 15°.8 The Admiralty refusal seemed to me very weak.

I agree with your argument shewing why the German S/M’s do not attack your transports; I want the K S/Ms as an offensive weapon against the enemy, and the Atlantic is well suited for them.

Your speech and answers are very good and I am going to keep the copies you sent me; thank you for making them.9 Price is doing very well;10 you room is ready for you, you had better come in October before the November rains begin.

Yours very sincerely             

Lewis Bayly                 

The only niece and I are very grateful indeed for all you have done for Charlie;11 you are a real friend,


Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 47.

Footnote 2: Hannibal was a tender to submarine chasers at Plymouth, England.

Footnote 3: Capt. Arthur J. Hepburn, Commander, Submarine Chaser Detachment Three, based at Queenstown.

Footnote 4: Lt. Cmdr. Victor D. Herbster, commander at the naval air station at Wexford, Ireland.

Footnote 5: Cmdr. Francis B. McCrary, commander, naval aviation in Ireland.

Footnote 6: RAdm. Thomas S. Rodgers, commander of the battleship division stationed at Berehaven, Ireland.

Footnote 7: That is, submarines.

Footnote 8: The first two numbers are degrees of latitude; the last two numbers are degrees of longitude.

Footnote 9: On the speech and answers, see: Sims to Bayly, 24 September 1918.

Footnote 10: Capt. Henry B. Price, who had taken up Pringle’s responsibilities at Queenstown while the latter was gone. See: Sims to Pringle, 16 September 1918.

Footnote 11: On “Charlie,” who may have been Charles Francis Annesley Voysey, see: Sims to Bayly, 24 September 1918.