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Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Atlantic Fleet, to Force Commanders


U.S.S.PENNSYLVANIA, Flagship.       

7 December 1917.   

From:     Commander in Chief.

To:       Commander BATTLESHIP FORCE ONE

          Commander BATTLESHIP FORCE TWO

          Commander CRUISER FORCE.1

Subject:  Battle Efficiency, gunnery training.

     1.   The personnel situation as regards the necessity for training reserve and temporary officers has been called to the attention of the ships by the Chief of Bureau of Navigation. It is probable that within the coming year many battery officers of the regular list will be replaced by reserve and temporary officers. Certain ships which have a large number of full lieutenants as battery officers have not begun the training of reliefs for them in such a way as to obtain the best results. It is desired that (a) reserve and temporary officers be placed in training for each battery,(b) they be required to know perfectly the drill of the battery to which they are assigned, (c) they handle their battery on the weekly pointing and loading tests and all rehearsals including the final rehearsals prior to firing a form of practice, (d) and all battery officers of the regular list be as observers and instructors on the weekly pointing and loading and all rehearsals. It is considered perfectly natural that many lieutenants should desire service on vessels where there is a large probability of encountering the enemy, and advantage should be taken of this fact in training reliefs for them, in that such officers should be informed that they will be recommended for detachment as soon as their reliefs have been properly trained. Ships not having sufficient reserve and temporary officers to put into effect the system of training as outlined will make request for them through official channels.

     2.   Issue necessary instructions.

/s/ H. T. Mayo     

Source Note: TCy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Addressed below close: “Copies to:/Cmdr. BATTLESHIP FORCE ONE/ ″ BATTLESHIP FORCE TWO/ ″ CRUISER FORCE/Secretary of the Navy [Josephus Daniels] (Navigation)/Chief of Naval Operations [William S. Benson] (G.E. & E.P.).” Document reference: “FILE 3750...6/M1 (0).”

Footnote 1: VAdm. Albert W. Grant, Commander, Battleship Force One; VAdm. DeWitt Coffman, Commander, Battleship Forces Two; and RAdm. Henry S. Knapp, Commander, Cruiser Force.

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