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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 July <17,1918.> 22117


Origin    Opnav Washington.                      Ser. No. 8622

O-1  18 July

29 ARD



8622  Following mine sweepers have been commissioned and temporarily assigned to Naval Districts; U.S.S. TANAGER U.S.S. OWL U.S.S.LAPWING Y.S.S. KINGFISHER U.S.S. RAIL Original plan contemplated assigned first 12 these mine sweepers to mine force.

     Ratification your recent report1 that U.S.S. ONTARIO was not needed with mine force and bearing in mind urgent need for vessel of this kind on this side these mine sweepers will not be sent to Europe for operations with mine force or elsewhere unless urgently needed.2 10017. 8622


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers “29-1-4” appear in the top-right corner, with “1/2/K/J” appearing below in columnar fashion. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the cable.

Footnote 1: This report has not been found. Germany at this time had three U-boats operating near the American coast, and several mines had already been found and destroyed in American harbors. Bell, When the U-Boats Came to America: 55, 177.

Footnote 2: LAPWING departed for Europe in September, and TANAGER sailed for the Azores about the same time, later travelling to Europe after the war ended. Both took part in removing mines from the North Sea Mine Barrage.

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