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

CABLEGRAM           SENT August 21, 1917

To   Opnav, Washington                  Serial No. 316

Via       N C B D

Sent 21 August 1917 Initials E. Mc.1

     Copies to: Chief of Staff; Babcock;    Westervelt.2

Number three hundred sixteen. The logical development of cooperation by United States in French or Allied Naval air program will require a rapidly developing personnel and material establishment of such proportions that a comprehensive organization should be developed immediately for its exclusive administration stop The responsibilities of the head of this organization will be so great that an officer of wide administrative experience will be required stop I recommend that Captain Hutch I. Cone or an officer of similar administrative capacity be ordered for this duty at the earliest practicable date stop It is not an aviator that is required but an administrator stop.3


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Notation below signature: “1 Copy.”

Footnote 1: E. H. McCormick, a member of Sims' staff.

Footnote 2: Sims’ Chief of Staff was Capt. Nathan C. Twining. Cmdr. John V. Babcock was Sims’ aide, and Constructor George V. Westervelt, waas a member of the Bolling Commission sent to meet with French officials about establishing facilities in France for American naval aviators. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat, 20-24.

Footnote 3: For background on this request, see: Sims to Benson, 15 August 1917. Hutchinson I. Cone was then serving as Marine Superintendent at the Panama Canal but had earlier written his friend Sims asking: “For God’s sakes get me over there with you in some capacity as soon as possible;” Cone to Sims. 29 May 1917, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers. Benson agreed with Sims and sent an ecstatic Cone to join Sims’ staff to be in charge of aviation matters in Europe. See: Benson to Sims, 24 August 1917.

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