Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Thomas S. Rodgers, Commander, Battleship Division Six, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

S E C R E T.

UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET.

Flagship,Division Six,Battleship Force.

5th September 1918.     

From: Commander Battleship Division Six.

To  : Force Commander.

Subject: General Report.

1.   I have just returned from a visit to the Commander-in-Chief in Queenstown.1 He informs me that it would be practically impossible to sent [i.e., send] two full divisions of destroyers to assist in carrying out your “Instructions Number One”2 and that six destroyers would be a more likely number. Some of these would be sent from their job at sea to Bantry and would have to take fuel there. He agrees with me that it would not be proper to risk sending our valuable ships out without an escort of destroyers except in a case of the greatest emergency. If this idea prevails our course of procedure would be to get my division ready to go out and await the arrival and fueling of the destroyers before proceeding. This might cause a delay of some twelve hours. I think that this is the proper procedure and should be glad to hear that you agree.

2.   At my request Admiral Bayly has promised to take up with the Admiralty the question of a gate for the Eastern net here. He is going to assume entire charge of the transportation of Admiral Mayo to wherever he wants to go.3 We will also furnish such help as is possible toward our sub-caliber practice and other occasional exercises in Bantry Bay. He has requested the Admiralty to keep me fully supplied with information as to convoys. My visit was therefore an entirely satisfactory one.

3.   We are going ahead with drills etc., recreation parties and practice marches ashore; and will soon begin sending small leave parties to London. The question of the Y.M.C.A.huts is being considered and I expect to come to some conclusion this week. Both the Army and Naval Officials are willing to do anything possible to assist in this matter.

4.   I am, of course, not interfering in any way with the operations under the Commanding Officer of the BUSHNELL,but he is keeping me fully informed of what he is doing and is giving me every possible assistance in my work.4

/S/ I.S.Rodgers.

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 413.

Footnote 1: Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly.

Footnote 2: These instructions have not been found.

Footnote 3: Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Wilhelm L. Friedell. BUSHNELL was a submarine tender based at Queenstown, Ireland.

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