Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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 <25, 1918> 06226  JCK

ORIGIN   Opnav, Washington.                   Ser. No. 9019.

O-1   July 26

48 ARD                 S E C R E T

Simsadus:

9019. Your 1694 1702 16411 Schedule as cabled you and entrance Bay Ports vessels in H N 78 was result extraordinary demand War Department such demand will occur occasionally and Navy Department making every effort to comply.2 Regarding United States Troop Convoys USS LEVIATHAN will sail alone. This necessitates change groups and sailing and following is now scheduled

          Group 53 July 31 as already arranged.

          Group 54 U.S.S.LEVIATHAN August 3rd.

          Group 55 August 6th 9 troop ships speed 13 knots.

          Group 56 August 7th USTT GREAT NORTHERN and USTT NORTHERN PACIFIC

          Group 57 August 10th USS AMERICA USS VON STEUBEN.3

Group 57 will arrive 5 days after Group 56. Not more than 15 Bay Port vessels will be sent in H N 78. Will above revised schedule still permit entry maximum 10 Bay Ports vessels in H.N. 79 and H N 80.4 Acknowledge5 17025 9019

Benson.                 

 

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the text.

Footnote 1: For 1694 see: Sims to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 24 July 1918. The other two cables have not been found.

Footnote 2: This convoy of store ships from New York to France consisting of 13 ships—which as seen later in this cable was in excess of the 10 ships that were considered the maximum number that could be safely escorted in—arrived in Brest on 12 August. Wilson, American Navy in France: 53.

Footnote 3: In a cable of 27 July, this timetable was completely revised. See: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Sims’ Staff, 27 July 1918.

Footnote 4: According to records compiled by the forces commanded by RAdm. Henry T. Wilson, these convoys arrived in Brest on 20 and 28 August respectively and consisted of 6 and 9 ships. Wilson, American Navy in France: 53.

Footnote 5: Sims’ reply has not been found but the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations sent a revised sailing schedule on 27 July. See: Office of Chief of Naval Operations to Sims, 27 July 1918.

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