Commander William P. Scott, Staff, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, to H. E. Frick, Representative, Emergency Fleet Corporation
August 1, 1918.
The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of July 25, reference to sixty 8800 tons steamers building for the Emergency Fleet Corporation by the Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation, Harriman, Pa., and submitting formal applications for Armed Guards for sixteen of these vessels which are scheduled for completion before January 1, 1919.
Your request is noted that early action in the assignment of guns to these vessels would be appreciated and suggesting that it would be of great advantage to have guns of some calibre and type allotted to the whole class in order to simplify the work of installation.
The Department appreciates that such would be the case, but, as the Emergency Fleet Corporation has previously been advised, the limited supply of guns available for merchant vessels makes it impracticable to assign guns to any vessel in advance of her completion, nor can assurance be given in advance that guns will be available for any particular vessel at any particular time.
The Emergency Fleet Corporation, Manager Division Steel Ship Construction, has been fully advised of the Department’s limitations in this matter and has been furnished with instructions as to the preparation of vessels for Armed Guards under these conditions.
Your letter has accordingly been referred to that office.
W. P. Scott,
By direction of
Chief of Naval Operations.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “Op-24-C/C-1:49.” Addressed below close: “Mr. H. E. Frick,/Authorized Representative,/Emergency Fleet Corporation,/Bristol, Pa.” Copy addressed to: “COPY to: Emerg.Fleet Corpn./Mgr.Steel Ship Con.(Att.Mr.Cox)/Comdt.4th Nav.Dist.(A.G.) [Capt. George F. Cooper]/Bu.Ord/Capt. [Montgomery M.] Taylor.”