Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Bureau of Navigation
Chronological Copy. File No. <42-4-1>
Cablegram Sent July 20, 1918. SFM
To Opnav, Washington, (for Bunav) Serial No. 1439
Prep. by S-1 SX D.R.
1439. My 1299. If the Navy Department is to take over these Lake Steamers it is strongly recommended that those which have not already sailed be taken over in the United States, otherwise it will be necessary after investigation here to cable Department for Officers and crews to be sent from home. It will also be necessary to send such of the Merchant crews as cannot be enrolled back to the United States, and due to high wages being paid in the Merchant Service it is probable the majority of the crews will not enroll. Taking the ships over by the Navy before they leave home will save considerable expense and transportation of personnel and any delay in operations after the steamers arrive. 13220 1439.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.