Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
31st July, 1917
To Opnav Washington Serial No. 172
Number one hundred and seventy two. I strongly recommend that for all Government supply ships, army or navy, one of the following courses be pursued (stop) First, that such ships be held and grouped in separate convoys of twelve or more, The sailings co-ordinated with other convoy sailings or second, that as fast as such ships are ready they be consolidated with the merchant convoys from New York and Hampton Roads which will be escorted through danger zone and a detachment of destroyers will take over the escort to destination when convoy separates (stop) Either of these plans will increase safety by permitting better concentration of protection considering the inadequate number of destroyers available (stop) Escort will be thereby greatly facilitated with much less steaming and better state of readiness of destroyers.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.