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

Chronological Copy                          File No. <11/4/5>

Cablegram Sent February 24 1918

To Opnav (Secnav)                           Ser.No. 4353.

Prep. by [unreadable]            SX D.R.

4353. Your 3155.1 Admiralty desires YALE and HARVARD converted coal-burning entirely with steaming radius of 1200 miles, and fitted out for service including strength[en]ing for sea trip.2 Troop accommodations to be arranged along same lines as indicated my cable 2706 to Opnav for MANHATTAN and NARRAGANSETT.3 Crew to be despatched from England to Pacific when ships are ready to come across.4 Mr. Bevan <of> Ministry of Shipping New York will assist with advice in fitting out these ships. Keep him informed as to probable date of completion. Admiralty considers completion of ships urgent. 21424.

Sims.

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

Footnote 1: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 2: Yale and Harvard (which were renamed Harrisburg and Charles respectively) were commercial passenger ships that went into service during the summer of 1918 and thereafter were used as troop transports. Harrisburg was used to transport ships from the United States to Europe; Charles was used primarily to ferry troops across the English Channel. DANFS.

Footnote 3: That cable has not been found, but see: William S. Benson to Sims, 9 February 1918.

Footnote 4: Harvard/Charles was operating on the West Coast of the United States, however, Yale/Harrisburg was based on the East Coast of the United States so the crew, presumably Americans, would not have to travel to the Pacific. DANFS.

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