Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
File No. 4-17 75
CABLEGRAM RCEEIVED February <18, 1918.> 19319. SFH
Origin Opnav Washington Ser. No. 3079
Ref’d to Date
CS-2 Feb. 20
A-1 21 Feb. R/T see our 1359 to Paris A.E.J.
25D VERY SECRET
3079. Your 3866. Department desires to co-operate with Italian forces and to assist in any manner which will tend to increase efficiency of our joint general campaign against common enemy. It is however first desirable to have certain points more fully explained. Did suggestion to turn over 2 equipped sea-plane stations emanate from the Italians? Do they desire to operate them on account of shortage in their own personnel and material or was it their desire we should utilize their facilities for training for future operations? Is the name of one of the bases Pescara or Pecaro ? From the general outlook how would our effort here fit in with effort elsewhere? Are machines we are building suitable for operation contemplated ? Would land machines be more effective than sea-planes? Our situation is this; if stations are adequately equipped and we were to take over, our trained fighting personnel might be fit to operate by July 1st. If in addition the stations are not equipped and require material and labor from us then materials would be ready for shipment about August first. 21018.
Retransmit to Cone W.A.E.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.