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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Congressmen Lemuel P. Padgett from Tennessee, Chairman, House Naval Committee


<August 19, 1918.>      

          Sec Nav.)      Ser. No. 81

Ref’d. to




20 Aug

<P no action Aug 20 1918,>

SWO <A-1>


<See OP 3370>1


31 ADR



81. For Roosevelt and Padgett.

     Yours relative to Airplanes.3 Conference with all concerned held and everything corrected with air craft fully gone into. Shipments will be expedited as rapidly as possible, HS planes4 shipped Coast Station here are assembled and fly without special difficulty. No lists missing parts in Washington, D.C. Only information along this line cabled from Cone August 95 which gave general statement supposed deficiency. Investigation showed majority stated deficiency shipped long enough ago to have arrived Pauillac. For instance RAPPAHANNOCK, cargo Transport, arrived August 9 with 120 starters Bill of Lading 3043. Advise if received. Look fully into whether shipments are promptly unloaded and delivered that end and if not what can be done to better it. Not understood why now reported only 8 starters received. Agreement with Sims in view of difficulty of shipping bills they go forward as fast as completed and ships available. Supposed policy fully understood by all concerned. This involved shortage in some equipment earlier than shipment. Late shipments practically complete and earlier shortage mostly made up. For details relative status of shortage see dispatch 9931 to Sims 15 August.6 Every effort being made to secure all parts more promptly. Relative statement gasoline pump defects. Some earlier pumps gave trouble completely cured by changing pitch of propeller Briscoe7 was informed regarding this when here in June Instructions also sent sometime ago by cable. There are over 400 Navy Liberty Engines is <in> use on this side. There have been cases of sabotage in connection with engines which appear to have occurred at factories after engines are inspected and before packing. Loose nuts and bolts, sand and shavings in crank case,et cetera. For this reason our stations are going over motors before running them. 20 to 30 man hours sufficing here. Report from stations indicate engines in good condition and have been properly assembled and inspected except in cases of sabotage.       23019.   81.  10.55 A.M.

Benson.   Aug 20 1918.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. An almost identical version of this cable was forwarded to Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone, via R.Adm. Henry B. Wilson on 22 August, 1918.

Footnote 2: Staff of VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 4: Curtiss HS single engine flying patrol boats.

Footnote 5: The referred to cable from Capt. Hutchinson I Cone, of 9 August 1918 has not been found. Cone previously complained of missing airplane components. See: Cone to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 29 July 1918.

Footnote 6: Sims cable of 15 August 1918, has not been found.

Footnote 7: Capt. Frank Briscoe was in charge of the manufacture of Caproni bombers for the United States Navy. John H. Morrow Jr., The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1993), 343.

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