Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, second cable of the day

Action Copy.                                 File No. <27-5-5>

Cablegram Sent  September 18 <17> 1918.  Y-3

To Opnav Washington.                         Serial No. 4978

Prep. by M-4                  SX D.R.

45 ARD             

S E C R E T

4978 After conference with Admiral Plunkett1 recommend building 5 additional mounts for 14 inch 50 caliber railway battery together with necessary train equipment and shipment St.Nazaire for erection as soon as practicable. Also assembly 500 men with same qualifications as original expeditionary force Request 5 officers regular service to take charge of these new units, train and organise personnel, and that they be transferred to France in advance of material in same manner as present organization. Experience indicates that in many instances bombing operations or shell fire damage mounts beyond salvage, but guns can be successfully salved. If Buord2 is able to establish stock rough machined liner forgings in England it appears that we may be able to keep more than 5 guns ready for operation simultaneously provided satisfactory relining arrangements are effected in England. Should Department approve I will order Lieutenant Commander D.C. Buell USNRF,3 to United States to superintend manufacture and shipment of material. 173117, 4978.

SIMS               

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

Footnote 1: RAdm. Charles P. Plunkett, Commander, Naval Railway Battery. For more on Sims’ conversation with him, see: Sims to William S. Benson, 17 September 1918; and Sims to Benson, 18 September 1918.

Footnote 2: That is, Bureau of Ordnance.

Footnote 3: Lt. Cmdr. Dexter C. Buell had superintended the construction of the railway batteries material for the Bureau of Ordnance. Naval Railway Batteries in France: 7. Buell was detached on 30 September. Ibid., 9.

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