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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

Chronological Copy.                         File No. <4-2-12>

Cablegram Received   August 26 <23> 1918.  SFM

Origin  Opnav, Washington.                   Ser. No. 288

M-1   Aug 26

31 ARD


288. Your 2614, 2777, 2880 and 3184.1 After U.S.C.T. RAPPAHANNOCK, U.S.S. PENSACOLA, U.S.S. HOUSTON and MALANG are unloaded and aviation material checked report nature for material in which there is urgent deficiency and which cannot be secured abroad. The Department’s policy is to ship all seaplane material except the hull and wing structure to Queenstown Killingholme Southampton or Pauillac depending upon where it is required for use. Hull and wings are shipped to any French English or Irish port depending upon destination of ship. It is possible that seaplane material consigned to one of the ports named above is unloaded at another port in error or ship is diverted. Complete lists of cargo for vessels taking aviation material are forwarded London, Eng. Are these being received and forwarded to Supply Officer at receiving depot? Suggest that arrangements should be made to have some representative aviation supply officer at all principal ports of arrival in Europe of transports and cargo vessels to locate any aviation material diverted from intended destination and see that it is forwarded with least possible delay and not diverted to other uses. Very important that any aviation supplies arriving Brest and St.Nazaire receive prompt attention by Naval authorities at these points and that aviation supply officer at receiving depots be informed. All Naval port officers and unloading authorities in England and France should be informed of special markings of boxes for aviation and of intended destination of any aviation material that may arrive at these ports. A concise statement of methods of receiving and distributing aviation material abroad desired so that shipping arrangements on this side can co-ordinate with this in the most feasible manner.2 23023. 288.


6:40 p.m. Aug. 24, 1918.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. There is a note below close: “Note 2777 = R/T B 4776/3184 = R/T B 5097.” This is referring to the messages sent from Sims mentioned in the first line of the cable and indicates that cable number “2777” is radio transmission “B 4776” and that cable “3184” is radio transmission “B 5097.” The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the text.

Footnote 1: For cable 2614, see: Hutchinson I Cone to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 29 July 1918; for cable 2880, see: Sims to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 14 August 1918. The two that were sent as radio transmissions have not been found.

Footnote 2: Sims replied on 7 September 1918.

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