Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Subject Copy.                                File No. <2-2-5>

Cablegram Sent August 6, 1918.  AHI

To Opnav Washington.                         Serial No. 2467

Prep. by  M-                        D.R.

Clear    

2467 Admiralty suggest and I concur that information concerning submarine activity our coast such as Reuter’s press dispatches today concerning LOUIS BLANCHE <Luz Blanca>1 and tank steamer off Virginia coast2 be withheld from cable and wireless in order not to furnish current information of possible value to enemy.3 Newspapers are two weeks old on arrivals this side and hence are not so important,  22306 2467.

SIMS

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: On 5 August U-156 torpedoed the Canadian tanker Luz Blanca forty miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The crippled tanker tried to return to Halifax but was overtaken and sunk by gunfire after a “lively duel” of thirty minutes. Clark, U-Boats to America, 197-98.

Footnote 2: The ship sunk “off Virginia coast” was not a tank steamer but the American schooner, Stanley L. Seaman. The schooner was overtaken by U-140 which forced the crew to abandon the vessel and then destroyed it using a bomb. This sinking took place at about noon on 5 August about one hundred and ten miles off Cape Hatteras. Ibid., 183-4.

Footnote 3: As censorship of the wire services was already in place, Sims’ request was undoubtedly implemented. See, Daniels, Cabinet Diaries, 141, 142.

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