Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Deputy Secretary of the Admiralty Charles Walker to Commodore Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché in Washington, D.C.

Admiralty S.W.I              

24th January 1918.      

S E C R E T

Commodore Gaunt,

     WASHINGTON.

               I am to request that you will inform the Navy Department that it has been decided to cancel the present scheme for the dispersal of shipping on the Pacific Coast of America, and to adopt the scheme in force in the Atlantic viz: in the even<t> of an enemy raider appearing in these waters, vessels at outlying ports to be directed to hug the Coast to the first port at which a Reporting Officer is stationed and there await orders.

     2.        The details of this scheme are being communicated to all British Reporting Officers and it is requested that the Navy Department may be asked to inform United States Consular Officers on the Pacific Coast.

     3.        With regard to Ports at which there is no Reporting Officer, the British Commodore in the Pacific1 will arrange for the scheme to be put into operation by means of a prearranged Code Word. The British Consuls at these ports, who are unsalaried Officers and do not possess Cyphers, will not receive the full details of the revised scheme, but will be inform<ed> that, on receipt of the prearranged Code Word, all vessels wherever bound sailing from their port are to be ordered to hug the Coast to the first port with a Reporting Officer, these ports to be specified by name. The scheme is primarily intended for action against an enemy raider, but should an enemy submarine appear zigzagging will be ordered by telegram in plain language.

     4.        The revised arrangements will be communicated to the United States Admiral at San Francisco by the Commanding Officer of H.M.S. “AVOCA”.2

BY COMMAND OF THEIR LORDSHIPS.

CHARLES WALKER.         

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

Footnote 1: Commo. P. H. Colomb, R.N., Commodore of the Pacific.

Footnote 2: RAdm. William F. Fullam, Commander, United States Pacific Reserve Fleet, and RAdm. Captain Charles T. Hardy, R.N.

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