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

Chronological Copy

Cablegram Sent 19 December 1917.   ROC

To Opnav, Washington.              Serial No. 2271

Prep. by Comdr. Foley.   NCT1 D.R.


2271.     There is urgent need here for salvage equipment. During the past two years British Authorities, with very limited facilities, have recovered two hundred sixty vessels of one million tons total dead weight. All resources of Liverpool Salvage Association, London Salvage Association and Lloyds have now been pooled and placed under control of the Salvage Section British Admiralty. The aggregate of these resources is far below present requirements as regards number of vessels, experienced personnel and salvage gear. It is most important that we do everything possible to supplement this effort to safeguard the tonnage situation by prompt despatch here of all salvage vessels that can be provided. Present Admiralty practice is to commission salvage vessels as naval auxiliaries and to enroll personnel in naval reserve. Similar organization of our own units is recommended. 20219


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Cmdr. Paul Foley and Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.