Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain William V. Pratt, Assistant (Acting) Chief of Naval Operations, to Naval Bureaus and Commandants of Navy Yards

 

NAVY DEPARTMENT

(C O P Y)                  Washington.

Dec. 8, 1917.

CONFIDENTIAL

     From:     Chief of Naval Operations.1

     To:       All Bureaus,

               Commandants, Navy Yard, Boston, Mass.,

                    "         "    "   New York,

                    "         "    "   Philadelphia, Pa.

                    "         "    "   Norfolk, Va.2

SUBJECT:       Acquisition of Mine Ships.

     1.  In the near future there will be turned over to the Navy twenty-four carriers. These carriers will carry mines and mine force stores exclusively. When actually taken over they will be sent to the Commandants of the Navy Yards to be fitted for this service. The ships will be taken on a bare ship charter basis and commissioned with naval personnel. Emplacements will be made for installing one three-inch gun forward and one five-inch gun aft. The batteries will be installed as soon as available.

     2.  Eight of these ships will be taken over about December 20, 1917, eight about January 1, 1918, and eight about January 10, 1918.

     3.  The Commandants will report by wire how many of these ships they can handle in their respective districts for repairs and alterations.

     4.  In general these ships should not require much in fitting out beyond proper accommodations for crew and gun foundations. No special fittings for stowing mines will be required.

     5.  The names of the ships and more definite dates will be furnished as the ships are received.

     6.  The Bureaus will issue the necessary instructions.

/s/

               W. V. Pratt

Acting.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers “Mat-2-JL-12/7/28754-37:5” appear above the name of the sender. Address below close: “Copy to: Op-31 Enlisted Personnel./Op-29 Hydrographic Off./Op-26 Nav. Observatory.”

Footnote 1: Adm. William S. Benson. Benson was in Europe at this time as part of an Allied conference, and Pratt was serving as acting chief in his absence.

Footnote 2: Capt. Benjamin C. Bryan, RAdm. Nathaniel R. Usher, Capt. Robert L. Russell, and RAdm. Walter McLean.

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