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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

<Cablegram, April 8, 1918>

X-15                                       IL 6141


From: Vice Admiral Sims

To:  Opnav.

6176      Your 56391

     In order to delay ships as little as practicable suggest convoys for French Atlantic ports leave Hampton Roads Va. about eight days after present East coast convoy. This will insure convoy leaving Hampton Roads for French Atlantic ports every eight days. Regular East Coast convoy leaves Hampton Roads April sixteenth and subsequently every sixteen days. Recommend first convoy for French Atlantic ports be sailed April twenty-third and every sixteen days thereafter. I have requested Admiralty to furnish Commodore for these convoys, signalmen to be furnished by United States. Admiralty are training additional signalmen which can be used gradually to replace United States Signal men on New York mercantile convoys. If Department desires arrangements can be made to collect United States <signalmen> on French Coast and return [them] in transports direct to Hampton Roads. Special call signs for Commodore and destroyer escort will be allocated. To avoid interference with other convoys recommend Admiralty furnish routes in same manner and with same machinery that routes are supplied for other mercantile convoys. Escorting cruisers should leave convoy at dark in vicinity twentieth meridian. If convoy is delayed, cruisers should inform Brest France as early as practicable. Recommend convoy officer at Hampton Roads make usual report to Admiralty for distribution to Ministry of Shipping, French authorities and various parties interested. No report need be made to me except usual report stores ships.2 04408.


Op- 19


     28            521 am        4/8/18

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 2: For Benson’s reply, see: Benson to Sims, 8 April 1918. Sims further explicated these plans to RAdm. Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Naval Forces Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters, in Sims to Wilson, 8 April 1918.

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