Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Rear Admiral Nathaniel R. Usher, Commandant, Third Naval District

            Operations-Material                 Omat 566

Be-2701  

April 9, 1918.          

Commandant Third Naval District.1

     The following seven vessels now being operated by the War Department will be taken over and manned by the Navy Department as troop transports FINLAND, PASTORES, TENADORES, MALLORY, LENAPE, MONGOLIA, MANCHURIA period2 Commandant authorized to accept these ships on bare ship basis period Proceed with necessary work for conversion of LENAPE and MANCHURIA to troop transports and with conversion MONGOLIA upon arrival in port period Steamer KROONLAND will make next trip as cargo vessel and with present crew but upon return will be taken over manned and converted by Navy Department period3 During absence of KROONLAND proceed with preparation of plans and assembly of material in order that work of conversion may be undertaken promptly 16109

SecNav.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifier in top right hand corner: “Mat. 1 E.” Note after close: “Copies to All Bureaus/Op. 14, 23, 24, 26, 29/Hydrographic Office/Supt. Naval Observatory/Dsnots. 3d District/.”

Footnote 1: The Third Naval District’s headquarters were in New York City.

Footnote 2: The agreement that the Navy would man and operate transport vessels belonging to the Army dated to 5 January 1918. However, the Army did not provide certain “information called for” in that memorandum of agreement “for many months.” Clephane, Naval Overseas Transportation Service: 64. The memorandum is printed there. The German 1918 offensive and the need to transport American troops to France undoubtedly caused the Army to fulfill the conditions of this earlier agreement at this time.

Footnote 3: S.S. Kroonland was a former German passenger liner. Crowell and Wilson, The Road to France: 320.

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