Sims, William Sowden

born Oct. 15, 1858, Port Hope, Ont., Can.
died Sept. 28, 1936, Boston, Mass., U.S.

U.S. naval officer.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and later wrote a navigation textbook that became widely used. As naval attaché to U.S. embassies in Paris and St. Petersburg, he observed the superiority of foreign navies. As inspector of naval target practice (1902–09), he revolutionized U.S. naval gunnery. In World War I he commanded the U.S. fleet in Europe and helped develop the convoy system to protect Allied ships from German submarine attack. He was president of the Naval War College (1917–18, 1919–22).

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▪ United States admiral
born Oct. 15, 1858, Port Hope, Ont., Can.
died Sept. 28, 1936, Boston, Mass., U.S.

      admiral whose persistent efforts to improve ship design, fleet tactics, and naval gunnery made him perhaps the most influential officer in the history of the U.S. Navy.

      Sims was born in Ontario where his father, an American engineer, was employed at the time. The family moved to Pennsylvania in 1872, and Sims entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1876. After graduating in 1880 he served almost continuously on sea duty for the next 17 years. During this time he wrote a navigation text that was long used by both the navy and the merchant marine.

      Sims served as naval attaché to the U.S. embassies in Paris and St. Petersburg from 1897 to 1900. His observations of foreign navies convinced him of the comparative inferiority of the U.S. Navy, despite its recent victories in the Spanish-American War. While serving under the commander of the U.S. Asiatic fleet (1901–02), he learned from a British officer, Captain Percy Scott, of the new gunnery technique of continuous-aim firing. Sims wrote a series of reports to the Navy Department setting forth the technique along with his criticisms of U.S. ships and naval marksmanship. Receiving no satisfactory response, he wrote directly to President Theodore Roosevelt, who brought him to Washington as inspector of naval target practice. After seven years in this post Sims returned to sea duty, having effected remarkable improvements in the state of naval gunnery.

      Sims was promoted to rear admiral and became head of the Naval War College in 1917. When the United States entered World War I that year he was promoted to vice admiral. During the war he commanded the U.S. fleet that operated with Britain's Royal Navy in European waters. He worked in close cooperation with the naval commands of the other Allied powers, and he played a major role in securing the adoption of the convoy system to protect Allied merchant ships against German submarine attack. After the war he resumed his post as president of the Naval War College, while continuing to agitate for reforms in the Navy Department. He retired in 1922.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… …   Universalium

  • William Sims — Infobox Military Person name=William Sowden Sims lived= birth date|1858|10|15 ndash; Death date and age|1936|9|25|1858|10|15| placeofbirth=Port Hope, Ontario, Canada placeofdeath=Boston, Massachusetts caption=Rear Admiral William Sowden Sims… …   Wikipedia

  • Sims — biographical name William Sowden 1858 1936 American admiral …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sims — /simz/, n. William Sowden /sowd n/, 1858 1936, U.S. admiral, born in Canada. * * * …   Universalium

  • Sims — /simz/, n. William Sowden /sowd n/, 1858 1936, U.S. admiral, born in Canada …   Useful english dictionary

  • USS Sims (DE-154) — USS Sims (DE 154/APD 50), a sclass|Buckley|destroyer escort of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Admiral William Sowden Sims (1858 1936), who pushed for modernization of the navy. She is the second ship in the United States Navy to be …   Wikipedia

  • USS Sims — Three ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Sims for William Sowden Sims. Additionally, one other ship was named Admiral W. S. Sims for the same man. *The destroyer USS|Sims|DD 409, served in World War II, sunk by the Japanese, 1942 …   Wikipedia

  • Симс, Уильям — В Википедии есть статьи о других людях с такой фамилией, см. Симс. Уильям Соуден Симс …   Википедия

  • Naval War College — For other uses, see Naval War College (disambiguation). US Naval War College U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

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