Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Commander Roscoe C. Bulmer, Commander, U.S.S. BLACK HAWK

NAVY DEPARTMENT

OFFICE OF NAVAL OPERTIONS

WASHINGTON

<April 22, 1918(?)>

SECRET

From:  Chief of Naval Operations,

To:    Commanding Officer, U.S.S. BLACK HAWK.

SUBJECT:  Orders – assigned to Mine Squadron One.

               1. The U.S.S. BLACK HAWK having been assigned to Mine Force, as Flagship of that Force, you will report by letter to the Commander, Mine Squadron One, U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO, Senior Officer Present of the Nine [i.e., Mine] Force.1

               2. Prepare to proceed on distant service with the vessel under your command upon the completion of authorized repairs and alterations. In the meantime train the Officers and crew to such extent as may be possible, in order that the BLACK HAWK may be ready to proceed on distant service as soon as possible after her material completion.

               3. Keep the Commander, Mine Force2 and the Commander, Mine Squadron One constantly informed as to the progress of work and training on board the vessel under your command.

               4. Inform the Department as soon as practicable when it is expected the BLACK HAWK will be ready to proceed in accordance with these orders.3

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten and is uncertain, although the DANFS entry on this vessel gives the same date for these orders. Identifier in top left-hand corner: “Op-36-D.” Note after close: “Copies to:/Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet [Henry T. Mayo]./Commander, Mine Squadron One./Commander, Mine Force./Op-31.” BLACK HAWK, the former steamship Santa Catalina, had been purchased by the Navy on 3 December and converted into a tender and repair ship for the mining squadron laying down the North Sea mine barrage. DANFS. On the same day, two other vessels destined to be minelayers, Aroostook and Shawmut, received similar orders. DNA, RG 45, Entry 517.

Footnote 1: Capt. Reginald R. Belknap.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Joseph Strauss.

Footnote 3: BLACK HAWK, Aroostook, Shawmut, and Saranac departed from Boston on 16 June 1918 en route to Scotland. DANFS.