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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 <1st> August 1917.

ORIGIN   Admiral Benson                                                      Serial No. Opnav 73

Via   Q.211                                                                                 Date No. 25001

Copies to                                                                                    File No.

Action Referred to.

Action taken.



Ref. No.

Commander Babcock2

Refer To Long3 JVB


Commander Long



Simsadus, London

          Opnav seventy three. Referring to your one hundred and seventy-two.4 This office concurs in the expressions of policy stated in your cable referring to the proper methods of routing cargo supply ships of the army and navy. The following methods will be adopted. Cargo supply ships of the army and navy, whether bound for British or for French ports, will, as a regular practice, be routed with the regular convoys sailing from New York and Hampton Roads. We will then expect you, as stated in your one hundred and seventy-two, to escort these ships to their port of destination. An extra cargo convoy will be formed, as you indicated for the first method of procedure in your one hundred and seventy-two, if circumstances should make an extra cargo convoy necessary. It will then by routed as in your letter seventeen instructions for troop convoys,5 but you will be particularly informed of the character of the convoy. As far as possible the instructions in your letter seventeen will be reserved for the purpose for which they were drawn up, namely the routing of troop convoys. 23001.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. At the top left-hand copy is the note: “ACTION COPY.” The cable is on a form so the portion through the end of the table is printed. The original date was crossed through and “1st August” written over it.

Footnote 1: That is, the British Admiralty.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. John V. Babcock, Sims’ aide.

Footnote 3: Cmdr. Byron A. Long, the officer on Sims’ staff who supervised, in cooperation with the British Admiralty, the routing of convoys. Morison, Admiral Sims, 368. “BAL” in the fourth column designate Long’s initials.

Footnote 4: See: Sims to Benson, 31 July 1917.

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