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

Action Copy

Cablegram Received  <January 3 1918>

Origin           Opnav Washington            Serial No. 1971

19 D.

VERY SECRET

Simsadus.

1971.     Your 2597 – It is desired that escort for four American Line1 Steamers be resumed at earliest date even if only to extent of supplying one destroyer on eastern bound trip and none on the western. The communication offered by these vessels running direct is of great value and it is not desired to discontinue this service. These ships are not fitted to run in the Halifax, Nova Scotia, convoy without rebunkering that port. The New York sails direct Saturday January 5th at noon carrying certain Naval personnel before other changes could be made. request escort one destroyer 23003

BENSON.       

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. There is a table between the date, which was added later, and “Origin,” which apparently contains the initials of those to whom this cable was assigned for action and the initials of individuals who acted on it or reviewed it and the dates they did so, but these entries have been crossed through and are now unreadable.

Footnote 1: The International Navigation Company, better known as the American Line, ran steamers between New York and Southampton, England. The four steamers were presumably City of New York, St. Louis, St. Paul, and Philadelphia. http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/american.shtml, accessed on 20 December 2017.

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