Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Herbert O. Dunn, Commander, Azores Detachment, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

[Extract]

CONFIDENTIAL

  File 106.

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS.

AZORES DETACHMENT.

OFFICE OF DETACHMENT COMMANDER.

Naval Base Azores,14 September 1918.

From:          Detachment Commander.

To:            Force Commander.

Subject:       Report of Operations for week ending 14 September 1918.

Reference:     (a) Force Instructions No. 2 of 22 September 1917.1

1.   FORCES.

     (a)  Available.

Monitor TONOPAH – Station Ship and Submarine

  Tender; in fair condition, requires port propellor.

Tug MONTAUK – General Duties; in good condition.

Bark QUEVILLY – Tank Ship; in good condition.

Sub. K-1 – Patrol Duty; engines poor, battery good, hull needs dry docking.  Due to absence of spare parts should make only short patrol trips in vicinity.

Sub. K-6 – Duty and condition same as K-1.

Sub. K-2 – Patrol Duty; engines poor, battery is nearly worn out, hull excellent.  K-2 is available for harbor patrol only.2

Canadian Drifter 13 – In poor condition upon arrival here 2 September. Crew is cleaning boiler and overhauling engine. Will be ready for sea about 16 September.

Canadian Drifter 69 – In fair condition upon arrival here 2 September. Crew is cleaning boiler and overhauling engine, and U.S.S. TONOPAH is effecting various repairs to this  vessel. Will be ready for sea about 16 September.

Canadian Drifter 71 – In very poor condition upon arrival here 2 September. Engine and pumps are in bad shape, boiler leaks, all valves and sea cock leak. This vessel is under repair by U.S.S. TONOPAH’S force and is expected to be ready for sea about 23 September.

All of these drifters left a British dock yard with no engineer’s supplies of any kind and no tools, and when they asked for these things, they were told that they could get them at the Azores.

          (b) Unavailable for Sea Duty.

Yacht MARGARET – Used as quarters for submarine crews, in poor condition, laid up.

Yacht GALATEA – Laid up, in poor condition.

 2. OPERATIONS. . . .

         11 September At 11:13 a.m., while making a scouting flight in a seaplane, Lieutenant Poague, U. S. M. C.,4 and his observer sighted a dark shape looking like a submarine submerged, and dropped a bomb on it which failed to detonate. This was 16 miles due south of the harbor of Ponta Delgada. Three additional planes, the Marines’ express cruiser, the K-1 were sent out immediately. Portuguese Gunboat IBO also went out. Nothing further however was seen.

               U.S.S. MONTAUK sailed to assist American S.S. FRANCIS L. SKINNER which had lost her propeller in Latitude 45°-45' N. Longitude 20°-08' W.

              Heavy ground in armature of port main motor occurred on K-1 while shoving off from alongside the tender at about 7:35 p.m.

              K-1 on night patrol. . . .

        14 September U.S.S. OAKLAND5 enroute from Norfolk Va., to Gibraltar and Genoa, put into this port to repair air pump. Find it impracticable to repair her own pump, so will transfer a pump from U. S. S. MARGARET to her.

              American S.S. MIJDRECHT6 enroute from Bordeaux to Philadelphia, put into this port to repair her circulating pump and to coal.

              K-2 on night patrol. . . .

H.O. Dunn.   

 

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 446. Note after close: “Copies to:/Force Commander (3)/Operations./File.”

Footnote 2: To this point, the report on the vessels “Available” is identical to Dunn’s report of 31 August 1918. See: Dunn to Sims, 31 August 1918.

Footnote 3: A drifter was similar to a commercial fishing drifter, which was designed to deploy and retrieve drift nets. They were also akin to naval trawlers but usually slower and smaller.

Footnote 4: Lt. Walter S. Poague, U.S.M.C.

Footnote 5: U.S.S. Oakland, formerly War Breeze, was a cargo ship in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service.

Footnote 6: Formerly a Dutch tanker, it was operated by the U.S. Shipping Board in 1918.