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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: August 14, 1917.

Origin  Admiral Benson                    Serial No. Opnav 154

Via: N C B1                               Date No. 15014

Copies to: Chief of Staff, Comdr. Babcock2   File No. 25/9/7      

Action referred to:

Comdr. Long3

From:  Chief of Naval Operations.

To:    Admiral Sims.

Opnav 154. Commander Freeman with six yachts sailed August twelfth from St. John’s Newfoundland for France via Azores Islands.4 Speed approximately ten knots. Has been directed to report to you upon arrival French Waters.

          Up to August 8th Admiral Wilson5 with five ships of patrol force have sailed at different dates for Gibraltar. Between August 15th and September fourth five more ships of patrol force should sail.6

          Fit out works for all craft very much delayed by labor difficulties and congestion at yards7  15014.

Admiral Benson.    

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Notation in the upper left-hand corner: “Subject Copy.” Identifiers in upper right-hand corner: “R258”; and in columnar fashion below the file number: “1/3/4/5.”

Footnote 1: That is, Naval Communication Bureau.

Footnote 2: Sims’ Chief of Staff was Capt. Nathan C. Twining; Cmdr. John V. Babcock was Sims’ aide.

Footnote 3: Cmdr. Byron A. Long was the officer on Sims’ staff who supervised, in cooperation with the British Admiralty, the routing of convoys. Morison, Admiral Sims, 368.

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Charles S. Freeman; seven armed yachts (half of which were from the New York Yacht club) arrived in France in late August. They were: Alcedo, Remik, Wanderer, Guinevere, Corona, Carola IV, and Emeline. Still, Crisis at Sea, 312. On the progress and arrival of this flotilla in France, see: Sims to Daniels, 30 August 1917.

Footnote 5: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Patrol Squadron Based at Gibraltar.

Footnote 6: On the vessels to be stationed at Gibraltar and their scheduled date of arrival at that station, see: List of Ships to be Based at Gibraltar, 8 August 1917.

Footnote 7: A general labor strike broke out at the New York Navy Yard on 21 July; Joesphus Daniels Dairy, 21 July 1917, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Roll 1.