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


Cablegram Sent           5th August 1917.

To Opnav, Washington                   Serial No. 197

Via Q 211

Sent <Aug. 5>        Initials <R.M.D R.>2       File No.

          One hundred and ninetyseven. I assume from my previous recommendations that so far as possible all U.S. mercantile ships are being sent in the regular convoys sailing from New York and Hampton Roads, and that other U.S. mercantile ships not sailing in these convoys are routed in co-operation with the regular shipping offices of the countries through the waters of which our shipping is bound(stop)3 If this assumption is correct steps should be taken to ensure that the Admiralty of the country furnishing the routing <orders> is furnished direct with all information regarding date of sailing, cargo, units, date of arrival, etc of the U.S. ships in the same manner and in the same codes as is now being done by the allied shipping representatives (stop) This will expedite and simplify the transmission of information to patrol ships (stop) It will be unnecessary and undesirable to furnish me list of these ships as I have arranged for the information to be forwarded to patrol forces direct from the Admiralties using their codes for the purpose4


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. In the upper left-hand corner is printed: “Action Copy.” Below this is a stamp indicating that this cable was answered on 10 August. This is a printed form so parts of the first four lines are printed. The date sent and the initials were handwritten and appear in angle brackets.

Footnote 1: This is the signal code for the British Admiralty.

Footnote 2: These initials are those of the person at the British Admiralty who deciphered this message.

Footnote 4: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, replied on 10 August 1917.

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