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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. <46-4-9>

Cablegram Received <September 30, 1918.> Y-7

Origin   Opnav Washington.                    Ser. No. 2387

  M-1      2 Oct.

31 ADR.


2387. Prompt and adequate information is not being received regarding Liquid fuel situation especially fuel oil in France and Department desires this condition be corrected immediately. No reply yet received to our 1625, 1762, and 2015.1 These and case of U.S.S. BROAD ARROW show Department not fully cognizant and cooperation not complete. U.S.S. BROAD ARROW originally routed to Brest, France in HN number 83. After sailing Department informed through British port convoy officer New York, N.Y.2 that destination changed to Sheerness. Department assumes by your authority. No action taken by Department assume U.S.S. BROAD ARROW would receive orders to Sheerness when met by escort. Sailing of tankers accordingly required revise when arrival BROAD ARROW at Brest, France was confirmed. Request for change to destination of tank ship should be made through Department. A study of past performances of tankship will show that i<t> is impracticable to send an 8000 ton tankship every 8 days with certainty and Department cannot understand reason this is considered essential in view of storage of 28,000 tons available. It will frequently be necessary and advisable to send 2 tankships in same convoy in order to meet monthly requirements and Department <p>refers congestion rather than shortage at Brest, France. Present surplus fuel oil to France sent to fill storage understood to be completed and practically empty on September 21 also to make return to Admiralty. Department will make every effort to meet your requirements but to act intelligently timely information must be received 14030 2387


Time sent. 8.20 PM Oct 1 1918

Time recd. 10.56 PM Oct 1 1918.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date notation at the end of the text.

Footnote 1: For 1625, see: Benson to Sims, 17 September 1918; the other two cables have not been found.

Footnote 2: Presumably, Commo. Lionel de Vere Wells.

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