Charles H. Brent to Woodrow Wilson
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
My dear Mr. President:
On the 27th and 28th of June, at the invitation of Admiral Sims, I visited the Grand Fleet bearing with me messages from General Pershing in behalf of the American Expeditionary Forces to the Fleet and to the American Squadron. The object in view was to weave a new strand into the bond uniting Army to Navy and England to America.
The relations between our officers and men and those of the British are best indicated by what the British liaison officer, Capt. Aylmer, said to me: "“ "I have been with your Squadron since the beginning. I have never settled any differences because there have never been any to settle."Our ships form the Sixth Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. The personnel, the conduct and the naval efficiency of the Americans is worthy of their best traditions and the cause which they champion. It happened that I was with them for gun practice. The shooting was, to quote the British, "magnificent".
I was given opportunity on behalf of the American Expeditionary Forces to address some 4,000 representatives of the Fleet on the Flag Ship "Queen Elizabeth", the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Beatty, responding, and on the "Resolution", Admiral Madden responding. Afterwards I went to each ship of our Squadron, giving a message from our Army to our Navy. It was a memorable day, in that it brought into bold relief the high ideals and rich enthusiasm of the loyal men who are bound together by a common motive and a common purpose in behalf of mankind.
Our country has reason to be proud not only of such men as Admiral Sims and Admiral Rodman, but also and equally of their entire command. It is not the least thing to their credit and to the credit of the wonderful Navy with which they are allied that the comradeship between the sailor citizens of the two nations is not the comradeship of acquaintances but of friends and brothers. We of the American Expeditionary Forces purpose to vie with the men of the American Navy in creating such mutual understanding between our people and our Allies, French and British, as will be the foundation of that lasting and righteous peace for which we both fight and pray.
With assurances of loyalty, my dear Mr. President, I remain,Yours very faithfully,
Senior Chaplain, A. E. F.CHB-JNB