Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Herbert O. Dunn, Commander, Azores Detachment, to Norwegian Consul, Ponta Delgada, Azores

  File 103 (2)

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS.

AZORES DETACHMENT.

OFFICE OF DETACHMENT COMMANDER.

                        Naval Base Azores, 30 September

1918.    

Norwegian Consul,

     Ponta Delgada, Azores

Sir:

     In connection with my letter of 23 September and your letter of 27 September,1 I wish to explain more in detail the circumstances connected with my action in the case of the Norwegian S.S.Sverre. As you know, the Sverre was chartered by the United States authorities and was loaded with a valuable cargo of supplies for the U.S.Army in France. A U.S. Army Officer accompanied the cargo. The ship was without armament of guns and I had succeeded in securing a U.S.Destroyer to escort her to France.2 The convoy was on the point of sailing when the U.S.Army Officer on board reported to me that the Captain was drunk, that he had menaced the crew with a revolver, and that the ship and cargo was endangered by his presence on board. I considered the situation was one where prompt measures were necessary, so I immediately removed him from command and put the First Officer in his place, which resulted in the convoy sailing at once with little or no delay. I felt sure that you would have done the same thing had there been time, and I beg to assure you that I had not the slightest intention of trespassing upon your pere- prerogatives. My sole motive was to protect the ship and cargo and speed her safely to her port of destination.

     I take this occasion to disclaim any intention to offend the dignity or usurp the laws and regulations of the country which you so worthily represent – on the contrary I entertain for that nation the most profound respect.

     I trust you will present to the Norwegian Government my respectful assurances that the action taken protected Norwegian property and was innocent of any intent to encroach upon Norwegian rights.

     With great respect, I remain

Rear Admiral, U.S.Navy  

Source Note: LT, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 24. The consul has not been further identified.

Footnote 1: These letters have not been found.

Footnote 2: According to Dunn’s general report to William S. Sims of 28 September, Sverre sailed from the Azores on 23 September escorted by U.S.S. Stringham. RG 45, Entry 520, Box 446.

Related Content