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The Queenstown Legacy

This cooperative effort and the mu rual support fostered by Admiral Bayly were saluted.

by VADM Sims in his posrwar book, The Victory at Sea.

Referring to the interactions among Bayly and American naval officers, Sims reported:

“Relations berween the young Americans and the experienced Admiral became so close thattheywould sometimes go to him with their personal troubles;

he not only became their commander, but their confidan t and advisor. “

 For his part, when ordered by the Admiralry to take his first leave of the war in Summer 1917,

Bayly refused to do so unless Vice Admiral Sims could assume command at Queenstown, an honor that Sims graciously accepted.

In addition, the relatively small size of Queenstown, coupled with its lack of recreational facilities,

made Bayly’s quarters the center of social activities fo r the American naval officers.

As Sims explained, “Admiralry House was always open to our officers who spent many a night around the Admiral’s fire.

They were constantly entertained at lunch and dinner, and they were expected to drop in fo r tea when they were in port.”

Bayly’s niece, M iss Violet Voysey, served as the gracious hostess at Admiral’s H ouse, and she too became a favorite among the American visitors.

The close working relationship berween British and US forces headquartered at Queenstown from 1917-19 was one of the most inspiring examples of effective combined naval operations during WWI.

Like the early volunteers to become American pilots in WWI, many yo ung destroyer offi cers based at Queenstown came direct from Ivy League universities.

As Assistant Secreta1y of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote in his foreword to Admiral Bayly’s memoirs:

“They came to me in the Navy Department and pleaded, almost with tears in their eyes, for assignment to new destroyers that were to go into commission for dury under the Queenstown Command.”

The lure for these young offi cers was the opportuniry to do something meaningful in the war under an admiral,

albeit British, who had achieved renown for his understanding leadership.

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