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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Naval Forces in France

Chronological Copy.                          File No.

Cablegram Sent August 27, 1918     JCM

To Comfran, Brest                            Serial No. 5480

Prep. by C-1                            NCT

                                             48 ARD


5480 Your 5319.1 I consider that owing to importance of our controlling OV and HB convoys2 you should take control of these convoys if 8 escorting units are available. French Ministry has guaranteed at least two units and 3 to 4 yachts should be regularly available. Three destroyers additional would make a satisfactory escort. As only small number of storeships are now arriving in HN convoys suggest that if necessary HN convoys be met for present off Ushant where submarine activity has been small for past 4 months. Escorts would then be at sea less than 24 hours. Two French escorts promised for HN convoys might be placed on OV and HB convoys as you consider desirable. Escorts are being kept small so that escort can be concentrated on troops and OV and HB convoys. When more destroyers become available Department will sail storeships regularly in HN convoys. It is proposed to add enough destroyers to your Force so that an extra mercantile convoy can be sailed every 8 days breaking joints with the OV and meeting HN. No date can be set for this owing to uncertain deliveries of new destroyers. 074727 5480


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

Footnote 1: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 2: OV convoys were either troopships or store ships and sailed from Verdon. HB convoys were store ships from New York for the Bay of Biscay ports in France. For more on the U.S. taking over HB convoys, see: Benson to Sims, 27 August 1918.

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