Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

TROOPS IN CONVOY AMERICAN LINE VESSELS

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED 21402 <February 2, 1918.>    HJK1

Origin Opnav Washington                         Ser. No. 2673

Ref’d to       Date

C3             2-2-18

Q1             2-2-18    See our 3625 to Opnav2

23 D          Very Secret.

Simsadus.

2673.     Question of using four American Line ships SS ST PAUL and so forth for carrying troops has risen again. Army desires to use them and Navy is anxious to assist but states distinctly that it cannot guarantee escort if these ships sail separately. Following three methods are suggested for their routing. First, route in fast Halifax convoy, Second, Route in our troop convoy landing in France and third route in our troop convoy bou<n>d for France but divert to England after falling in with escort. Would third be feasible until such time as we are able to make arrangements to route group to Southampton England when the four liners would naturally group with vessels routed there. If question of sending troops on four French Liners to Bordeaux arises, would these ships be included in our transport group and after being met, be diverted to Bordeaux. 18022.

Benson.      

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document is one of “6 Copies”.

Footnote 1: HJK are the initials of the person who decoded the message.

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