Commander Charles R. Belknap, Director, Naval Overseas Transportation Service, to Naval Overseas Transportation Service
OFFICE OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
June 27, 1918.
From: Director, Naval Overseas Transportation Service.
To: Naval Overseas Transportation Service.
1. In accordance with arrangements made with the Shipping Control Committee, the responsibility for loading of N.O.T.S. vessels operated for the Army is divided as follows:
(a) Responsibility for condition of cargo rests wholly with loading authorities.
(b) Responsibility for safety of ship as affected by loading of cargo rests wholly with the Commanding Officer of the vessel, subject to orders from N.O.T.S. authorities.
2. If at any time the loading of your vessel, by reason of weight, stowage or trim, endangers in your opinion the seakeeping qualities of your vessel you should report same immediately to the nearest office of N.O.T.S. If such office is not within immediate communication, you are authorized to take such steps as may be necessary to avoid endangering your vessel.
3. In exercising this discretionary power, Commanding Officers will be guided by an endeavor to comply to the utmost, with the wishes of the loading authorities of the Army, by the season of the year and by the urgent need of transporting all possible supplies to the forces overseas.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “F-133.”