Skip to main content

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

Chronological Copy.         [EJW]             File No. <4-4-5>

Cablegram Received August <6, 1918.> [08607.?]

Origin Opnav Washington                      Ser No. 9556

     M-1  Aug 7

31 ARD                    S E C R E T


9556 Will the 14 dirigibles being obtained from French be sufficient for needs abroad. Can more dirigibles be obtained from France England or Italy. A twin engine dirigible 170,000 cubic feet is being manufactured in United States. Will any of this type be required for use abroad. Above information required in order to lay down building program in United States for larger type N.O.N. <non->rigid dirigibles.1 Recommendation desired as to type of dirigible required for replacement at stations in France2 10006, 9556


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the cable.

Footnote 1: While Sims’ reply has not been found, by war’s end, naval aviation forces in France had twelve dirigibles in operation and others under construction in France so the answer must have been that more were needed. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat, 267.

Footnote 2: The Americans used Astra-Torres and Zodiac dirigibles produced in France for their French stations. However, in September the United States agreed to take over several British dirigible stations, which would have required additional and probably different kinds of dirigibles had the war not ended. Ibid., 264.

Related Content