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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Admiralty Oswyn A.R. Murray

19 September, 1918.

From:     Force Commander.

To:       Secretary of the Admiralty.

Subject:  Escort Vessels for Gibraltar.

Reference: (a) Admiralty letter M.022822 of 4 September, 1918.1

     1.   I have requested the Navy Department to send to this side all available escort craft, besides destroyers, and it is possible that with the approach of winter weather a few additional such craft may be sent, in which case these would be sent to Gibraltar.

     2.   The new destroyers based on Gibraltar have had as their primary duty the protection of U.S. ships carrying stores for the U.S.Army. The storeships selected for carrying stores to French Mediterranean ports are the largest fastest and most valuable storeships now in service. Vessels of this type are not suited to proceed in the slow Gibraltar – Genoa convoy. They have therefore been routed alone by the S.N.O. Gibraltar,2 in small groups under the protection of one destroyer each. These destroyers were assigned to Gibraltar with the specific primary purpose of protecting the line of communications to the U.S.Army, but it was expressly stated that they might be assigned any additional duty that the S.N.O., Gibraltar might determine upon.

     3.   Only two new destroyers have arrived in European Waters since June, 1918, and both of these have been assigned to Gibraltar. On the arrival of more destroyers in European Waters it is proposed to allocate additional ones to Gibraltar.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “01/25-9-5.” Signature is a stamp.

Footnote 1: The document referred to has not been found.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Albert Niblack, Commander, United States Naval Forces in Gibraltar.