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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 3, 1918>


From:  Vice Admiral Sims.

To:    Opnav.

# 5941.Your 4434.1 By reference to my 3329,2 Department will see that this proposal was made in January, as result of discussion by committee of Allied Naval Council period Department in cable 26823 stated that it could not furnish ocean escort for the additional convoys unless four French Cruisers could be taken over period In my 43044 I stated that the French Ministry of Marine offered for immediate use, with French crews, four cruisers then in the West Indies period Department in cable 34935 states that it was willing to accept the four French Ships with French crews and would endeavor to allocate to the work other U. S. Cruisers period. Admiral Aube has since been withdrawn from the West Indies and sent to Murmansk but three remain available and there would be no necessity to replace them if they were withdrawn from their present station for convoy duty period It is understood however that there is a sufficient number of U. S. Cruisers available for this work without using the French Cruisers period With reference to the danger zone escort, there is convoy sailing every eight days from Bordeaux westward period. The Zone escort for this convoy could be utilized to meet cargo convoy arriving the French coast every eight days<.> this escort would be utilitzed to meet the proposed convoy sailing every sixteen days from Hampton Roads direct for the French Atlantic ports period The date of sailingfrom Bordeaux would be adjusted as necessary to insure meeting convoy period Convoy sailing direct to French Atlantic coast would speed up ships and reduce size of the very large convoy now sailing from United States for east coast ports<.>6 see also in this connection my cable 45007 period I recommend establishment convoy every sixteen days from Hampton Roads period If department can sail special cargo convoy from New York or elsewhere same escort can be utilized to meet them provided convoys are sailed so as to reach rendezvous off French Coast at eight day interval. 12003 5941


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten at the top but is confirmed by the date/time stamp at the close. Identification number “IL 5912” is centered at top and additional identifiers “Op 19/23/28 for action 940 am 4/3/18” appear at the bottom of the document.

Footnote 2: This document has not been found.

Footnote 5: See: Benson to Sims, 4 March 1918.

Footnote 6: That is, ports on the east coast of France.

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