Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Nathan C. Twining, Chief of Staff, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS.

U.S.S. Melville, flagship.

January 2, 1918.

From:     Force Commander

To:       Secretary of the Navy, (Operations)

SUBJECT:  Extension of Convoy System.

Reference:  (a) My letter 593 of September 11, 1917.1

Verdon Convoy.

          There has been recently established an outward convoy from Verdon, mouth of the Gironde River. This convoy sails every 7 days to the westward, and includes vessels vessels with a minimum speed of 200 miles a day. Thus far the average size of this convoy is about 6 or 7 ships. French forces furnish the escort, which at present is only about two escorting vessels. It is hoped when more vessels become available to augment this force with U.S. ships. This convoy will be very useful for escorting empty supply ships to the westward.

Quiberon Convoy.

          It is hoped in the near future to have a regular established fast convoy of a minimum speed of approximately 300 miles a day, leaving Quiberon for the westward on a definite schedule.  Further information of this will be sent.

Eastern Convoy.

          There are now in operation once a fortnight convoys from England to Egypt and return stopping at one or two Mediterranean ports, but not at Gibraltar.

Mediterranean Convoys.

          Several convoys have been sailed from different ports, but definite convoy schedules are not yet arranged. Convoys have been sailed from Marseilles to Oran, Marseilles to Bizerta, Gibraltar to Oran, and Gibraltar to Bizerta. Considerable progress has been made in organizing and sailing regular convoys throughout the Mediterranean, and in near future definite schedules will be available, although escorting forces are far below the number required to give satisfactory protection.

Chief of Staff           N.C.Twining, U.S.Navy (Capt.)

Source Note: TCy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517, Box 29. There is a stamp at the top of the first page: “SECRET.”

Footnote 1: Twining’s letter has not been found.

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