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

Chronological Copy

Cablegram Sent      15 December, 1917.

To Opnav Washington           Serial No. 2150

Prep. by MO         NCT1 D.R.     16 Dec.


2150.     Your 1343. My 1884.2 Cone advises supply ships so far offered larger than required. Effort should centre on vessels 500 tons or less net cargo capacity or on two steamers aggregating 500 tons. Cold storage can be dispensed with if not obtainable but absolute requirements are clear desk [i.e., deck] for transportation flying boat hull, rigging for cargo handling, seaworthy, and 18-feet draft absolute maximum. Shallower draft will increase services of vessel.


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

Footnote 1: “MO” may have been material officer; the head of that section was Pay Inspector Eugene C. Tobey; “NCT” was Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.

Footnote 2: Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone desired two supply ships for service with American forces on the French coast. The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations wrote to Sims on 28 November 1917 (No. 1343) that the Navy’s supply ship Mohawk was unavailable, but that the Department could send the San Jose and Esparta, two vessels obtained from the United Fruit Company. DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Sims responded on 5 December (No. 1884) that Cone believed the two ships would not work because they drew too much water, that no ship having a draft over eighteen feet should be sent, and that Cone, who preferred smaller armed vessels, was willing to wait for them. DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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