Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
Action Copy. File No.
CABLEGRAM RECEIVED November
23 <22>, 1918.
Origin Opnav. Ser. No. Mission 23.
ACTION, NOTES and INITIALS
To: Amnavpar, Paris
Following were recommendations of Board on demobili<z>ation here based on organization sheet of 15th September, 1918, corrected to date and allowance made for all vessels to be completed and commissioned by 1st March , 1919.1
(A) Battleship Force 29 to be retained in full commission, 8 including division 1 and division 2 in commission with two thirds crew for training purposes. The 3 vessels division A out of commission.
(B) Cruiser Force, 17 to be retained in full commission. Five including U.S.S.North Carolina, U.S.S. Montana, U.S.S. Beale, U.S.S.St. Louis, and U.S.S. Rochester in commission with two thirds crew for training. Three U.S.S.Minneapolis, U.S.S. Columbia, and U.S.S.Yorktown to go out of commission.
(C) Patrol Force, 24 to be retained in full commission and 21 to be placed out of commission.
(D) Destroyers, 20 to be assigned to district divisions A B C and 1, all coal burners,; 21 to be placed in reserve with two thirds crew divisions 2, 3, and 4 all 750 ton oil burners 124 total product to 1 March to be retained in full commission with fleet. U.S.S.Farragut out of commission.
(E) Submarine Force, 99 to be retained in full commission. Separate plans forwarded.2
(F) Mine, Force, in full commission 9. Out of commission 6, leased vessels to be returned to owners.
(G) Train, in full commission, 14. 3 leased vessels to be returned to owners.
(H) Submarine chasers, in full commission 169 and in reserve with 2/3rds crew 84. All of foregoing assigned to various Naval districts, Navy Yards, Training Stations, Naval Academy, Fleet, Active, et cetera. 36 of these now at Corfu to go to Asia. 66 in European waters to be offered for sale. 18 to be transferred to other Governments. Total 337.
(I) Troop ships, 42 in all except 3 requisitioned, Dutch ships to be retained in full commission.
(J) Eagle boats to be completed by March 1st, 7 to be fully commissioned.
(K) Sweeping boats, 37 in full commission during need for same. All ships purchased for this duty to be surveyed later and disposition recommended.
(L) Pacific Fleet, in commission, training, and submarines 8 to be retained in full commission. 2, U.S.S.Oregon and U.S.S.Vicksburg, out of commission and 4 others returned to owners.
(M) Asiatic Fleet, 19 to be retained in full commission. Submarines handled separate report.
(N) Vessels special and detached duty including those whose names are not to be found on organization sheets mentioned herewith, 16 to be retained in full commission and 6 leased to be returned to owners. Vessels in this class purchased for War when service furnished to be surveyed later and disposition recommended.
(O) Force tenders, 18 to be retained in full commission. Demobilization of district craft is being handled separately. Orders have been issued to return as rapidly as possible to owners all free lease contract and chartered vessels except lighters, barges, and tugs.
(P) Secretary3 desires to hold Coast Guard ships under Naval status for present.4
(Q) Your comments on above plans requested before presenting matter to Secretary. Early decision requested as matter is being pressed here.5 14022
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The cable is done on a printed form. The material at the top of the page, through “Amnavpar, Paris” is repeated at the top of each of the four pages of the cable.
Footnote 1: The organization sheet, dated 15 September 1918, has not been found.
Footnote 2: The submarine report has not been found.
Footnote 3: Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.
Footnote 4: Daniels hoped to get the Coast Guard permanently assigned to the Navy, but his effort to do so failed. Still, Victory Without Peace, 52.
Footnote 5: Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, sent Benson an alternative plan with different numbers of ships retained in classes such as battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarine force, mine force, and train in a cable of 24 November 1918. DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Benson’s reply to this cable from Opnav, if he sent one, has not been found.