Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Mercantile Shipping

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED       August 16 <15>, 1917.

Origin    Admiral Benson      Ser No Opnav 160

Via  N C B     Date No 10013

Copies to C of S, Comdr Babcock1

Action referred to

Comdr Long2   reply sent 17/0/17 BAL

From Admiral Benson.

To Admiral Sims.

Opnav 160. It is very undesirable that the following fast ships making passage across the ocean and carrying mail valuable lives and cargoes by required to go to Halifax, Nova Scotia to join the liner convoy St. Paul, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York. These are the only four fast craft now in our service as mail craft across the Atlantic Ocean. If directed to join convoy at Halifax, much time is lost especially as theymust rebunker there. It is the desire of the Department that these ships continue their weekly sailings direct but be met by a destroyer escort. Can this not be arranged/ Acknowledge.3

          10015.

Admiral Benson.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document is an, “Action Copy. . . R 266.” The handwritten date in angle brackets is confirmed by the time-date stamp at the end of the document

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ Chief of Staff, and Cmdr. John V. Babcock, Sims' personal aide.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. Byron A. Long, who was in charge of the Covoys Section of Sims' staff.

Footnote 3: In reply to this cable, Sims informed Benson that so long as he had advance information about a convoy's arrival, he would make every effort to protect the ships with destroyers. See, Sims to Benson, 17 August 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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