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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, To Rear Admiral Ralph Earle, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, Rear Admiral Samuel McGowan, Paymaster General and Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, and Rear Admiral Walter McLean, Commandant, Norfolk Navy Yard


January 22, 1918.


From:     Chief of Naval Operations.

To:       Bureau of Supplies and Accounts,

          Bureau of Ordnance,

          Commandant, Navy Yard, Norfolk.

SUBJECT:  Mine carriers – general instructions to govern lading.

     1.   The vessels taken over as mine carriers were selected with a view to carrying a comparatively small number of mines in each hull, so as to minimize the effect on the whole project in the event of a vessels being lost. Their average deadweight capacity is about 3000 tons, and as this considerably exceeds the weight of mines allotted to each cargo, there will be a surplus available for other cargo. It is important that all material and stores for the MINE FORCE and Bases 17 and 18 which can be shipped by the mine carriers, shall be, in order to facilitate forwarding to destination on the other side. Mine carriers will discharge at the nearest points having direct connection with Bases 17 and 18.

     2.   As general instructions, therefore, to govern the lading of steamers, each cargo will be made up as follows:

     (a) 2000 mines with sinkers, complete,  1500 tons

     (b) Bunker coal               about     500 tons

     (c) Cargo other than mine material about 500 tons

     (d) Fuel oil (in double bottoms) about  500 tons.

     3.   Of the foregoing weights, that of (a) is fixed and will be the same for each steamer. The amount of bunker coal carried (b) must be ample for 3600 miles, with ample allowance for bad weather and other delays due to sailing in convoy. The weight of other stores (c) will vary, necessarily, according to the capacity available. The amount of fuel oil carried as cargo (d) should be as great as practicable, but not enough to overlaod deeper than two days’ consumption of coal.

(S)  W. S. Benson. 

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “29754-15; 252/Op-31 G.”