Skip to main content

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations


Sept 8, 1917       


To   Opnav Washington                   Serial No. 491

Via  N C B A                 Prep. By C. of S. Apprvd. By N.C.T.

                                        File No.51-1-2

Copies to, C of S, J V B, Wm. A., E.C.T.1


From      Commander Naval Force European Waters

To        Chief Naval Operations


491. 17004.Opnav 329.    Suggest Cone confer with Admiral Benson ascertain his views in detail as I wish his point of view when interpretating and carrying into effect his instructions period.2 Following subjects specially important. Future plans of army as to total strength of forces to come overseas and probable dates of departure of detachments period. Extent of merchant tonnage required for transportation such forces and extent necessary for support in France period. We wish also to be informed concerning organization United States Intelligence and Military Secret Service how that character or information is obtained and disseminated period. What additional patrol vessels may be expected and when period. Will Navy assist in providing equipment and men for coastal air patrol England period. Proposed cooperation United States in merchant shipping situation period. What merchant tonnage to be turned out by months October to June period. What merchant tonnage to be turned out by months October to June period. Does United States propose to handle tonnage situation to ensure delivery essential supplies in sufficient quantities meet demands here and build reserve against more strenuous submarine campaign winter and spring before new harvest ready 19308.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Sims’ Chief of Staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining; Sims' aides, Cmdr. John V. Babcock and Cmdr. William Ancrum; and Paymaster Eugene C. Tobey.

Footnote 2: Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, United States Aviation Forces, Foreign Service.