Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
TROOPS IN SINGLE MERCANTILE VESSELS
April 13, 1918. SFM
Opnav Washington. 6482
6482. Urgent. Your 4875. Recommend American Line be routed in fast Halifax convoys. If these vessels were routed with fast U.S. ships bound for France the approach to Liverpool would be most unfavorable and this plan is not recommended. I have suggested to Admiralty advisability of getting more speed out of Halifax convoys in order to increase troop carrying power of fast ships. Proposal is now being xxxxx considered to increase speed of Halifax convoys and to start additional convoy from U.S. every 8 days carrying troops to England. Speed 11 or 11 1/2 knots. If extra convoy is started one of the present convoys, possibly Sierra Leone convoy, will have to be abandoned in order to make available destroyer escort. Decision cannot be made until further data is available as to number and speed of ships that are to be placed in Atlantic trade for carrying U.S. troops. I will keep Department informed of decision. Any changes would probably not come into operation before latter part of May. 6482 21413
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Notations appearing in the upper-right corner: “6 Copies/3/C”.