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

Cablegram Sent

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.1


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

Footnote 1: The Navy Department agreed to implement all of Sim’s suggestions and to make Sim’s aware if there was to be any divergence. Benson to Sims, 1 August 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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