Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Leaders

Leading the U.S. Navy were Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William S. Benson, the first Chief of Naval Operations, following its establishment on March 3, 1915.   Franklin D. Roosevelt, the future thirty-second President of the United States, served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.   Vice Admiral William S. Sims was quickly, and secretly, dispatched to liaison with the British Admiralty, arriving on April 9 and remained in London to serve as Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European waters.   Consulting with the British, he recommended the most effective use of the U.S. Navy.   Once in London, Sims learned the German U-Boat situation was drastically more serious than originally told by the British.    If the merchant ship loss continued, Britain would have been starved by November.   To face the enemy in the Atlantic and European waters, Admiral Henry T. Mayo led the Navy as Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet. 

Image:  NH 57088:  Honorable Josephus Daniels with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt.   U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.