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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


COPY OF CABLEGRAM RECEIVED August <31, 1918.> 00101 JBB

Origin Opnav Washington                           Ser. No. 9273

46 ARD                   HIGHLY SECRET


9273. Confidential. The State Department has been directed to diplomatically inform all European Governments that this Government does not desire any decorations conferred upon American Officers, either Army or Navy. It is desired that this fact be hled [i.e., held] in confidence in deference to feeling of Allied Governments but this government does not wish such decorations as press reports say were conferred upon Rodman, Strauss, Bliss and Pershing.1 Your action is approved in declining to accept.2 16031 9273


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document identifier in top right-hand corner in columnar fashion: “1/3/J.” Below close and across the page is typed ten times in capital letters the word “COPY.”

Footnote 1: Adms. Joseph Strauss and Hugh Rodman; Gens. Tasker H. Bliss and John J. Pershing.

Footnote 2: See: Sims to Anne Hitchcock Sims, 3 August 1918. The Navy Department was “mistaken” in assuming Sims had declined in accepting the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George from King George V.