Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain William V. Pratt, Acting Chief of Naval Operations, to Rear Admiral Albert T. Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser and Transport Force

MDH                            Copy

NAVY DEPARTMENT

OFFICE OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.

WASHINGTON

<August 2, 1918>

From: Chief of Naval Operations.

To:  Commander Cruiser Force and Transport Force.

SUBJECT: Destroyer escort required for convoys leaving United

                   States.

Reference: (a) CCF.Confidential let.30 June <July>,1918,#25006-22-6.

           (b) CCF.Confidential let.22 June,1918,#25006-22-3.1

     1. The Department acknowledges receipt of reference (a).

     2. The following policy has been adopted and will be carried into execution insofar as the availability of destroyers admit:

     (a) The retention of the present hunting groups, to be used for hunting only and to be moved to the scene of greatest enemy activity.

     (b) The retention of the present District force of destroyers;viz.,nine for the First to the Fifth Districts inclusive.

     (c) To furnish destroyer escort to the following troop convoys:

              U. S. Troop Convoy,

              H X Troop Convoy,|2|

              H C Convoy.|3|

     (d) To furnish the destroyer escort in the following proportion:

              Forevery eight ships, one,

              For more than eight ships, two.

     (e) For the H X and U.S.Troop Convoy escort to continue until met by eastern escort, then return.

     (f) Endeavor to furnish small destroyer escort for west-bound valuable ships.

     (g) As soon as submarines of sea-keeping capacity come along, to endeavor to attach one or more submarines to each convoy, giving preference to troop convoys. If practicable the submarine will follow the procedure set for destroyers.

     (h) All other destroyers to be sent abroad.

     (i) To work into this system gradually.

     (j) Should a great submarine drive be made on this coast, it would mean a diminution of effort in the European Waters, This should be met by request for destroyer forces to be sent from Europe home.

/s/ W.V.Pratt

Acting

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifier at top of first page: “S-49-290/Op-38-C.” The identifier “Op-38-C” also appears on the second page of the memorandum.

Footnote 1: Neither of these letters has been found.

Footnote 2: HX convoys ran between New York and the west coast of England. Crowell and Wilson, The Road to France, 463.

Footnote 3: HC convoys ran from Quebec or Halifax, Canada, and England. Ibid.

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