Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to British Admiralty

Navy Department,

Office of Naval Operations,

Washington.

_____

September 5, 1918.

From: Navy Department.

To:   British Admiralty, London.

Via:  Commander-in-Chief, European Waters.1

Subject:  Distribution of U.S. Naval Forces Western Atlantic Waters, applying to anti-submarine warfare.

Reference:     (a) British Admiralty’s telegram of 25 August, 1918, to British Commander-in-Chief.2

Enclosure:     (a) Herewith.

     1.   Replying to Admiralty’s telegram, the measures in force and plans for future action are very similar to those in European Waters: the density of Naval Forces in Western Atlantic is far less than in European Waters. The enclosure shows the distribution as of September 1st, 1918. The tendency is to increase them, the greatest proportional prospective increase being in aircraft.

     2.   It is assumed that the Canadian Naval Forces will be mainly employed in Canadian Waters. The Navy Department has representatives in Halifax, and such other parts as are necessary to bring about local co-operation.

/s/ Josephus Daniels.        

Copy to:

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, European Waters.

British Commander-in-Chief, N.A. & W.I.

Secret Files.

_____

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS.

U.S.S. MELVILLE, FLAGSHIP.        

London, September 28th, 1918.

  From: Force Commander.

To:     Secretary of the Admiralty.3

     1.   Forwarded.          /s/ N.S. Twining.4

Chief of Staff.         

Navy Department.

Office of Naval Operations.

Washington.

DISTRIBUTION OF U.S. NAVAL FORCES EMPLOYED AGAINST ENEMY SUBMARINES IN WEST ATLANTIC WATERS, 1 Sept. 1918.

The forces are being employed in two categories –

     Convoy and escort duty and in anti-submarine patrol – the latter including also some short range escort work, <recur> work and mine sweeping.

_____

OCEAN ESCORT OF CONVOYS.

     Detailed to this duty are:-

          Seven armored cruisers.

          Three 1st class    

          Two 2nd class      

          Eight 3rd class    

          Two large auxiliary cruisers, and

          Thirty ocean-going destroyers.

Escort work of large ships is usual. Present plan is to send two destroyers with each troop convoy: they are to go /all the way to port of destination and perform similar service for westbound convoys.

______

NAVAL DISTRICT CRAFT.

     The Atlantic Coast of United States is divided into Districts as shown by accompanying charts. These districts extend seaward along the parallels of their boundaries. They have for hunting, patrol, rescue and mine sweeping the craft shown below. Each district cares for all activities within its area under general direction of Navy Department and co-operates with deep-sea and special forces working into or from it.

______

Districts.

 

1st District

2nd.

3rd.

4th.

5th.

6th.

7th.

8th.

Destroyers.

 

 

4

 

4

 

 

 

Torpedo boats.

1

2

4

 

2

1

 

 

C.G. Cutters

2

2

5

3

4

2

1

4

Mine Sweepers

10

8

21

11

12

2

 

4

S/M Chasers

(110 ft.M.L’s)

12

6

23

10

21

10

12

11

L.N. Tenders

5

2

7

2

7

4

2

4

Small section patrol boats miscellaneous & harbor craft.

 

84

 

72

 

79

 

37

 

92

 

20

 

30

 

18

 

     There are the following special hunting flo<t>illas which are employed where most needed and at this date operating from the ports shown.

  One destroyer and 9 Chasers      Boston.

     “v         11             Delaware Bay.

     “ Light Cruiser and 12 “      Key West.

     There is a detachment, based mainly at Key West, stationed to patrol West Indian and Gulf of Mexico waters; two are kept permanently in Mexican waters, usually Tampico. Detachment consists of:-

  Two third class cruisers.

  One monitor.

  Eight gunboats.

  One torpedo boat.

  Three patrol yachts.

  Two tugs.

     Plans are completed for this force, working in conjunction with forces of 7th and 8th Naval Districts, to operate a convoy system in the Gulf of Mexico in case the necessity arises.

Navy Department.

Office of Naval Operations.

Washington.

COAST OF CUBA.

     The coast of Cuba is patrolled by several small Cuban gunboats working in conjunction with our Special Detachment based at Key West.

CARIBBEAN SEA.

     The Caribbean Sea Patrol is under the French (Admiral Grout). We have two gunboats in that area working with the French.

_____

     On other outlying stations are:-

At Bermuda – one gunboat (being relieved by a moniter.

  Halifax – two gunboats, 2 torpedo boats and 3 Chasers.

  Sidney – Three Chasers.

_____

SUBMARINES.

     Submarines available for anti-submarine patrol, are based upon and operating from the following ports –

     Cape Cod ..............2

     New London ............8

     Delaware Bay ..........7

     Charleston ............4

     Key West ..............2

     Galveston .............2

  Destined to relieve U.S. Submarines now at Azores.

AIRCRAFT.

     Employed on coastal patrol and to a slight extent in escort duty.

Base.

Seaplanes.

Dirigibles.

Chatham (Mass)

12

1

Monta<u>k (Long Id.)

13

n 1

Rockaway do.

22

2

Cape May (N.J.)

13

1

Hampton Roads

18

 

Miami (Fla.)

13

 

Key West (Fla.)

13

1

Canal Zone

4

 

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: This document has not been found. The recipient was VAdm. Sir Lowther Grant, R.N., Commander-in-Chief, North Atlantic and West Indies Station.

Footnote 3: Sir Oswyn A. R. Murray.

Footnote 4: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.

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