Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, United States, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
COPY OF TELEGRAM.
Date 8 August 1917.
From. . . Chief of Naval Operations.
To . . . Admiral Sims.
Opnav 192. It is the Department’s intention to take over 12 sea-going tugs from commercial service and fit them for distant service. They will not be ready to sail abroad for approximately two months period. Should they be fitted with minesweeping gear? Their draught is fifteen to eighteen feet.
Number three hundred fourteen. Referring Opnav 192 Mine Sweeping Gear not desired. Recommend depth charges be fitted after arrival this side.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The portion below Benson’s signature is the reply that Sims sent, presumably on the same day. Sims had repeatedly requested that the United States send sea-going tugs to assist in towing torpedoed merchant ships into port. See, for example: Sims to Josephus Daniels, 29 June 1917, and Sims to Daniels, 3 July 1917.