Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
Chronological Copy. File No. <4/1/1>
Cablegram Received May <30, 1918.> 03231 JCM
Origin Opnav, Washington (Secnav) Ser. No. 6682
A-1 May 31
6682 Referring your recent despatch, minutes of conference in Paris, Aviation headquarters dated 4 May and recommendations regarding 1919 program with your forwarded endorsements dated 3 May, it appears that plans are being formulated for a much more extensive use of day and night bombers than has been approved by the Department in our 5622. There is no intention of extending the mission of these bombing squadrons beyond the bombing of enemy naval activities. All other air activities overland come under army. Land machines procured abroad for northern bombing project must be obtained from or in cooperation with the Army as directed in our 5003 and only in sufficient quantity to meet immediate need until land machines can be supplied from this country as follows: 80 day bombers from Army in June and 75 in July <a>nd August for replacements. Delivery of night bombers to begin October. In view of present status of production and vital necessity of equipping Army squadrons on western front, it is necessary for reducing naval northern bombing project to 4 day and 4 night squadrons for the present. Training of Naval personnel on land machines will be limited to number required for immediate need for revised northern bombing project and these will be replaced by marines when conditions permit. Be governed accordingly in plans for future Naval Aviation activities. Acknowledge. 14030-6682
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.