Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

Cablegram Sent      Dec 24, 1917. TOH

To OPNAV WASHINGTON Serial No. 2389

Prep. by CS    NCT1     D.R.

18 ADR

2389.     Your 1668 and my 2363.2 In consultation with Admiral Jellicoe3 this morning the following questions were asked: First, how many sailing vessels are available? Second, how much wheat can they carry? Third, are all of the vessels American? Fourth, would it be possible within any reasonable time to equip these vessels with motors?4

     Admiralty not disposed to give final answer until further consultation with Shipping Board and War Trade Council, but as a preliminary reply they state they consider it extremely unwise to attempt to get these vessels into any Scotch, Irish or English ports. Only ports considered moderately safe are French Atlantic ports. 23524

Sims          

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document is: “Subject Copy.

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims' chief of staff.

Footnote 2: The Shipping Board proposed lifting a ban on the use of sailing vessels in convoy to supplement coastal shipping and grain shipping. For No. 1668, see, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Sims, 18 December 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B; and for No. 2363, see: Sims to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 22 December 1917.

Footnote 3: First Sea Lord Adm. Sir. John R. Jellicoe.

Footnote 4: Adm. William S. Benson reported: “1st, 45 sailing vessels available today in port from Boston to Charleston S.C. this representing approximate average. 2nd, dead weight load of wheat that can be carried 85,800 tons. 3rd, all vessels are American, 4th, unpracticable to put motors on them. In addition there is a total of about 2 motor schooners on the east west coast and various other parts of the world.” Benson to Sims, 27 December 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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