Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
C O P Y.
The Secretary of the Navy.
Op-10 NAVY DEPARTMENT. WASHINGTON.
June 6th, 1917.
TO:- Vice-Amdiral W.S. Sims, U.S.Navy.
Subject:- Organization of “U.S.Forces operating in
1. The destroyers and yachts on the attached lists have been designated for service in European waters with orders to report to you for duty, and will be known as “U.S.Forces operating in European Waters”. The destroyers operating under your command and based on the coast of Ireland in accordance with arrangements already completed will be known as “U.S.Destroyer Flotillas Operating in European Waters”. The yachts and other small craft already designation and yet to be designated will be known as “U.S.Patrol Squadrons Operating om European Waters”. Captain W.B. Fletcher has been placed in command of the U. S. Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters and will sail for the coast of France within a few days.
2. While the Patrol Squadrons form part of your general command, it is the Department’s desire that they base in France and operate in waters adjacent to the French coast. It is the Department’s present intention to assign enough destroyers to form two complete flotillas of eighteen destroyers each, and eventually to reinforce the patrol squadrons to two squadrons of eighteen vessels each.
3. You are authorized to organize your forces at your discretion. Inform the Department of the assignments made. Submit reports of operations of the forces under your command to the Department, and keep the Department informed of the material state of readiness of each unit for service.
(signed) W. S. Benson.
C O P Y.
U.S. FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS.
D E S T R O Y E R S.
Y A C H T S.
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Below Benson’s signature, “Copy to:/Bureau of Navigation/Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet [Henry T. Mayo].”