Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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 Jan<uary 14, 1918.> 10315 TOH

Origin: Opnav. Washington.                  Serial No. 2192:

Simsadus.          VERY SECRET.

2192. Your 2794.1 The present method of transferring submarine chasers is slow. The number of yachts fitting out for distant service is limited and that form of escort will soon cease.

     In addition to three tugs for French Coast two tugs for Italy and five tugs fitting out on the Pacific where will be shortly nine tugs and twelve yachts if those now enroute to Azores are used for this purpose alone and not sent on to France.

     Following general plan is suggested to expedite transfer of chasers across Atlantic:

     Winter: Use Bermuda Islands and Azores Islands as two places of rendezvous, base temporarily at these two places the number yachts necessary to do requisite escorting and towing, probably six yachts or tugs at each place could do the work, assembling chasers at Bermuda Islands as fast as prepared for distant service, shuttle them across to Azores Islands under yacht escort.

     Summer: Move via Cape Race, New Foundland and Azores Islands.

     If chasers are to get across it is absolutely necessary that some craft must escort and tow and this cannot be done so long as all yachts and all tugs make trip across and then remain. It is suggested that the tugs might go across if urgently needed though they are better towing craft, provided their places are taken by some of the yachts now fitted out for service abroad. Early reply requested.  18014.

/s/  BENSON.

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

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