Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
Chronological Copy. File No.
Cablegram Received 09406 July <5,> 1918 BFB
Origin Opnav Washington Ser. No. 8138
CS-2 July 7
S E C R E T
8138 Enemy espionage on West Coast of France has been subject of voluminous reports to ONI [i.e., Office of Naval Intelligence]. Evidence exists that Submarine Commanders have known exactly what ships left port and when. All American transports so far torpedoed have been Westbound and within 48 hours after leaving a French Port note U.S.S. ANTILLES U.S.T.T. FINLAND U.S.S. PRESIDENT LINCOLN U.S.S. COVINGTON. This shows probable coastal communication with enemy submarines. Situation indicates need of more vigorous counter espionage in France. The Department desires your view recommendation on this subject 22005 8138
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the cable.