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. <11-4-9>
Cablegram Received April <24, 1918.> 07125. ROC
Origin Opnav Washington Ser. No. 5324
R-5 25 Apr.
5324. Your 6935. Authorized. 14 Lake type steamers of about 3100 deadweight assigned for Army coal trade already prepared with fore and aft emplacements and quarters for Armed Guard of 16 men including 3 radio men. These 14 steamers will be furnished before sailing with a Navy complement of 13 men as follows: Commander of Guard, 1 Petty Officer, 1 full Gun Crew of 8 men and 3 Radio men and all incidental equipment. Only work to be done on arrival in England will be to mount on each a 3-inch gun aft and furnish ammunition. Department expects several additional lake type steamers now building will be assigned to Army coal trade. Cable the minimum requirements which you advise for the additional shipping in view of nature of service.
Department will endeavor to comply with your last request re shipping which may be requisitioned by Army abroad. 14424. 5324.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.