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

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED      Sept. 1, 1917.

Origin    Admiral Benson.                                 Serial No. Opnav 297.

Via.       N.C.B.R.                                            Date No. 12031

Copies to C.of S.; J.V.B., B.A.L.1                       File No. 11 4 13

Action referred to

B. A. L.

For Chief of Naval Operations

To Commander Naval Forces European Waters:

Opnav 297.    Your three hundred seventy one period.2 Not considered practicable at present to undertake convoy direct from Colon, Panama to submarine zone period.3 We will however undertake for the present convoy of Australian troop ships every two weeks from Colon, Panama to Halifax, Nova Scotia period. U. S. S. Charleston directed to escort the convoy, reaching Colon, Panama September fifth. 12031.

Admiral Benson.   

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Someone has written in “August 31, 1917” as the date of the document.

Footnote 1: Sims' Chief of Staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ aide, Comdr. John V. Babcock, and Lt. Cmdr. Byron A. Long, Sims’ staff officer in charge of arranging and coordinating convoying.

Footnote 3: Colón, Panama, is near the entrance of the Panama Canal. According to Sims to Benson, 28 August 1917, the British had begun to send troops to Europe from Australia via the canal.

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