Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of War Newton D. Baker to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

COPY

WAR DEPARTMENT

WASHINGTON

3 July, 1917.

My Dear Mr. Secretary:-

          Word has just come to the War Department that the last ships convoying General Pershing’s1 expeditionary force to France arrived safe today.2 As you know, the Navy assumed the responsibility for the safety of these ships on the sea and through the danger zone.3 The ships themselves and their convoys were in the hands of the Navy, and now that they have arrived, and carried, without the loss of a man, our soldiers who are the first to represent America in the battle for democracy, I beg leave to tender to you, to the Admiral,4 and to the Navy, the hearty thanks of the War Department and of the Army. This splendid achievement is an auspicious beginning, and it has been characterized throughout by the most cordial and effective cooperation between the two military services.

Cordially yours,       

(signed)  Newton D. Baker,

Secretary of War

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

Footnote 1: Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces. For a description of the Naval support provided for Pershing’s convoy across the Atlantic, see: William S. Benson to Albert Gleaves, 13 June 1917.

Footnote 2: The last of the four convoy groups arrived at St. Nazaire on 2 July. Gleaves, History of Transport Sevice: 47.

Footnote 3: See, Addendum to Memorandum on Transportation Service Operations, 14 November 1916, DNA, RG 225, M1421.

Footnote 4: RAdm. Albert Gleaves, Commander, Convoy Operations in the Atlantic.

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