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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

Cablegram Received  August 18, 1917

Origin Chief of Naval Operations                         Serial No. Opnav 137

Via N C D 15 A                                             Date No. 17018

Copies to Chief of Staff, Babcock.

For Admiral Sims

From Chief of Naval Operations.

Opnav 197. In reply to you 23416, this country not prepared now to manufacture dirigibles larger than eighty thousand cubic feet. If American government supplies personnel, building material, equipment and erecting force, will French government supply dirigibles, spare parts, and hydrogen generation1

          Referring dispatch two hundred and sixty, necessary personnel for three stations and training schools authorized are being sent by first available transportation also boats, motor vehicles and fuel tanks requested. Before five additional recommended stations are authorized information requested as to amount and date of delivery of aircraft French government can supply for such additional stations.2 Following aviation officers sent first available transportation, Cory, Bartlett, Ensigns Fearing, Lovett, Gates, Naval Reserve, Ensign Cabot, Naval Militia.3- 17018.

Admiral Benson.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Sims responded that a head of naval aviation in France should be assigned to make these arrangements. He suggested Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone, a recommendation to which Benson readily agreed. Sims to Benson, 21 August 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 2: See: Kenneth Whiting to Josephus Daniels, 20 July 1917.

Footnote 3: Lt. William M. Corry, Lt. Harold T. Bartlett, Ens. George R. Fearing, Ens. Robert A Lovett, Ens. ArtemusL. Gates, Ens. Norman W. Cabot.

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