U. S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS
MINE FORCE, U. S. ATLANTIC FLEET,
U, S. S. BLACK HAWK, Flagship, ^ *
KirlGvall, Orkney Islands,
22 July 1919 • -'^
My dear Doctor: ' ; -
I have your letter of March four teen lii
before me and it is a reproach I assure you reminding
HB 1iiat I have never ansv/ered it and thanked you for
the information it contained. I find your advice was
good, for all of the securities show an advance.
I have been up in Kirkwall for about
iiiree months. It is a most desolate place, not even
tempting one to take a walk on shore. I made one visit
to London recently, stopping for a day at Inverness.
The latter place is much the same as usml and I met
several friends on the streets and their greetings were
cordial enough to make it pleasant.
It is a slow and dangerous process to
pick up what is left of the fifty- six thousand mines
that we planted last year. V/e find that about forty to
forty- three percent are still moored in the places
where they were planted. You can readily calculate vAiat
a vast number of these things are yet to be picked up
in an area of some six thousand square miles. We are
very careful but nevertheless have liad one vessel sunk
with the loss of several lives including Commander ICLng,
and on another occasion Ihe Command:v^g Officer of one
of the Sweepers v/as killed. Doctor Wellington is the
head medical rnan of the Force and, despite his inferior
rank, is a most excellent one. We have about four thous-
and men and seventy-five vessels engaged in the business.
I did not write a letter of c^minendation
as there have been so many sent to the Department that liiey
have lost their value. I was told in the Bureau of Navi-
gation iiiat they get several recomaiendations every day. I
think I did better for you, however, 1iian that; I appended
a statement to your fitness report which I think mil satis-
fy you and I also recommended, in view of your good service,
that you be given iiie Navy Cross, stating of course my
reasons for the recommendation.
I congratulate you on having so nice and
independent a job as comriiand of the hospital at Hew London.
I fancy it is much more peacefal tlaan duty in 7/asliing-
ton and from my point of view, therefore, preferable.
Very sincerely yours,