During the summer of 1916, German submarine activities made it very, clear that the pre-war methods of coping with such craft were astonishingly ineffective. It did not then appear that the United States would become involved in the war, but the possibility began to be discussed, and special attention was naturally paid to the technical problem presented by anti-submarine warfare. Due to the strict secrecy, shrouding the anti-submarine operations of the Allies, only very vague accounts of the weapons used were available. It did appear, however, that it was necessary, as in the receipt for rabbit pie, first to catch your submarine. This seemed to be a problem of intensive patrol of coastal waters and the approaches to maritime ports. We knew of the conversion of trawlers, yachts and miscellaneous small craft for this purpose and, of course, were aware of the British contracts placed in the United States for motor boats and flying boats.
The Navy's First Airships
By Commander J. C. Hunsaker, Construction Corps, U. S. Navy