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


Cablegram sent August 31, 1918.

Opnav Washington   3845

O-1   SX   45 ARD


3845 Your 557.1 I assume that no change is to take place in HB convoys2 except that they will be organized and handled by Navy Department and will be sailed on regular schedule every 8 days as at present. Since the beginning of HB convoys I have furnished all approach routes for these convoys using established Admiralty machinery and secret charts for transmitting these routes to New York and Brest. I assume this system will continue but that Department will prescribe the ocean route. I recommend that Commodore Wells3 be furnished full information regarding ocean route of this convoy so as to avoid collisions at seawith other convoys, and that he be requested to make usual reports of these convoys. It is wholly essential that all routing be closely coordinated so as to avoid confusion. All routes in European Waters, including routes of U.S. Troop convoys are interchanged to all naval centers concerned in U K. and France. so that convoys can be routed clear of one another and the maximum of assistance can be rendered at any time when casualties occur irrespective of which of the Allies is escorting the convoy. As the Admiralty is the centre in Europe to which all Allies look for reports of ship movements it is important that usual reports made by Commodore Wells of H.B. convoys be continued. 093131, 3845


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document identifier: “1/3/C/I.”

Footnote 2: HB convoys were store ships from New York for the Bay of Biscay ports in France.

Footnote 3: Commodore Lionel de Vere Wells who was the British officer responsible for arranging and organizing convoys sailing from the United States and Canada.

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