History Bytes: Admiral Sims

November 9, 2018

Admiral William Sowden Sims (1858-1936) commanded all of the United Stated naval forces operating in Europe during WWI. Sims did not return to the United States until many months after the November 11, 1918 armistice. Newport celebrated his arrival in Newport on April 11, 1919 in grand style. Businesses closed for the day, and several thousand people lined the streets to welcome him back to the city. The parade began at Government Landing with official speeches and a military honor guard, then the procession wound its way through the city including by the home on Kay Street where Sims’s family had been living. Shortly before the United States entered the war, Sims had been assigned as the president of the Naval War College. He served a second term as president from 1919-1922. During this tenure at NWC Sims wrote and published The Victory at Sea, detailing his experiences in WWI. The book won a Pulitzer Prize for history. After retiring from the Navy in October 1922, Sims remained in Newport, settling in a home at 73 Catherine Street.