Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to José Martí, Chief of Staff, Cuban Army, and President, Cuban Mission

NAVY DEPARTMENT

OFFICE OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

WASHINGTON

To:  Commander, Squadron One, Patrol Force, Atlantic Fleet,1

     U.S.S. TALLAPOOSA, Flagship, c/o Postmaster, N.Y. City.

     Subject:-Proposed plan of cooperation with Cuban forces

Reference:-(a) Letter of Comdr. Squadron Three, Patrol

Force, No. 3193, 11 July 1917.2

1.   I have to acknowledge the receipt of reference (a) forwarded to this office by the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet.3

2.   I approve the plan of your visit to Havana. I desire that you act in accordance with the following:

(a) That the Navy Department desires to cooperate with the Cuban Navy during the present war.

(b) That the Navy Department makes no demands upon the Cuban Navy but suggests that cooperation can best be attained by so arranging that the operations of the Cuban Navy shall conform to the plans of the Navy Department as communicated from time to time by the Commander of U. S. cooperating forces.4

(c) That the Navy Department will assist so far as practicable in the training of cooperating units of the Cuban Navy.

(d) That the Commander of U. S. cooperating forces will be free to recommend changes in personnel to the Cuban Navy Department with a view to increased efficiency of the Cuban vessels.

(e) That the U. S. naval officer now acting as naval adviser to the Cuban Government will act as liaison officer between the Commander, U. S. Forces and the Cuban Navy Department.

(f) That the Navy Department will repair and arm Cuban vessels in accordance with the attached memorandum.

3.   I desire that you attain the desired end by friendly agreement rather than by pressure.

W.S.Benson

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG45, Entry 517. An identification number in the upper left-hand corner reads, “27966-85/Op-17” and a recipients list at the bottom reads: “Copy to: C-in-C, Atlantic Fl;/Comdr. Patrol Force,/Atlantic Fl. [RAdm. Henry B. Wilson]”. The document is written on official letterhead which reads, “NAVY DPEARTMENT/Office of Naval Operations/WASHINGTON”.

Footnote 1: Capt. Hilary P. Jones.

Footnote 2: A copy of this document has not been located.

Footnote 3: Adm. Henry T. Mayo.

Footnote 4: Lt. Cmdr Carelton R. Kear

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