Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

Sub-Area: <France>

Subject:  Inspection of Air Stations.

Source:   Asst. Secretary of the Navy.

Date:     <8-18-18>

IN-2471       

From:   Asst. Secretary of the Navy.

To:     Secretary of the Navy.

Have inspected Paulliac and other air stations. Not a single American Naval airplane in France can operate offensively. Only 8 can fly. Propellers and gasoline pumps defective. Liberty motors short of parts and reported improperly assembled. 8 starters received for 145 motors. 220 hours work per motor necessary before it is in good condition. Not a single bomb sight or spare part received. Trouble evidently lack of following up and proper factory and shipping inspection. List missing parts in Washington, D.C. Drastic action on part of all bureaus necessary present condition scandalous. Have absolute proof of above. Figures should be given to all concerned. 16517.

Astnav.

3:25 PM.            8-18-18       

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. In a cablegram to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations dated 29 July 1918, Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, United Stations Naval Aviation Forces, Foreign Service, expressed similar concerns about the state of American airplanes, raising many of the same concerns Roosevelt expresses herein.

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