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Commander William P. Scott, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, to Captain J. W. Munn, marine Superintendent, United States Shipping Board


C-31:451                           August 15, 1918.

Attention of Captain Munn.


     Reference Department’s letter of August 15, 1918, regarding the increasing number of cases of flooding of magazines due to carelessness on merchant vessels to which Armed Guards have been assigned, the following extract from the report of the Armed Guard Commander on the steamer “IROQUOIS”, is quoted for your information:

    While lying at <Newport News> xx I made my daily inspection of the magazine on Magazine on May 22nd, at 12:30 pm and inspected it and found it had been flooded. At the time I was at xxx reporting to the Armed Guard Office. The Engineers had been filling a fresh water tank located below the magazine, but the manhole to this tank was just outside the magazine door. They had not watched the water and it forced the manplate up and overflowed into the lazarette1 and magazine. When discovered there was about three inches of water still in the Magazine, but when it was at its highest there was about four feet of water in it. This tank had always been filled through this manhole before and I always had one of my own men to watch it so it would not overflow, but this time it was filled from amidships through other tanks (magazine is located well aft) and I did not know it was being filled. My gunners mate reported it to me on my return from xxx at 5:00 pm. May 23rd and I reported it to me to the Armed Guard Office at xx

May 25th I received 192 rds 4’ 40 cal. 

Service ammunition.     

1000rds 30 cal. Rifle ammunition  

1700 ″   45      pistol         

This was to replace that which had been wet.”    


W. Pitt Scott           

By direction of         

Chief of Naval Operations.   

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Addressed below close: “U.S.Shipping Board,/Director of Operations,/1319 F St.N.W.,/Washington, D.C.”

Footnote 1: A lazarette is a storage compartment.

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