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Commander John V. Babcock to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels


From Admiralty.                   Date 6.5.17. [May 6, 1917]

To Commodore Gaunt,Washington.1 Sent 1720. [5:20 PM]

Cypher U.16.

     Following should be communicated to Secretary of Navy (begins) :-

     8th Division of Destroyers arrived 3rd May noon in excellent condition.2 Heavy rolling passage. Ten hours repairs on route. Advise other forces not to attempt over 12 knots until war zone is reached. Important send double supply of ammunition and torpedoes and reserves of Officers and men to cover sickness and other casualties. Recommend following reserve personnel for six Destroyers six Officers six deck six engine and six fire room Petty Officers four radio operators twelve seamen twelve firemen four quartermasters four yeomen four servants. Service arduous personnel must be of experience. No special equipment required except plenty of heavy clothing and life belts. Signed Babcok by direction. Message ends.


1st Sea Lords Authority.     

Source Note: CCy, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/655. There is also a copy in DNA, RG 45, Entry 517. Below the cable in a column fashion is a list of those in the Admiralty Department to whom a copy of this cable was sent: “First Sea Lord., D.O.D., D.I.D.” These were, in order, VAdm. Sir John R. Jellicoe, First Sea Lord; RAdm. Thomas Jackson, Director, Operations Division; Capt. William E. Hall, Director, Intelligence Division. Babcock was an aide to RAdm. William S. Sims.

Footnote 1: Commo. Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché, Washington, D.C.

Footnote 2: For more on the arrival of this division of U.S. Navy destroyers at Queenstown, Ireland, see: Diary of Joseph K. Taussig, 3 May 1917.