Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of War Newton D. Baker to President Woodrow Wilson

My dear Mr. President:             Washington. July 1, 1918.

     More than one million American soldiers have sailed from the ports in this country to participate in the war in France. In reporting this fact to you, I feel that you will be interested in a few data showing the progress of our overseas military effort.

     The first ship carrying military personnel sailed May 8, 1917, having on board Base Hospital No. 4 and members of the Reserve Nurses Corps.

     General Pershing1 and his staff sailed on May 20, 1917. The embarkations in the months from May, 1917, to and including June, 1918, are as follows:

     1917,    May                  1,718

                 June                12,261

                 July                 12,988

                 August            18,323

                 September      32,523

                 October          38,259

                 November       23,016

                 December       48,840

     1918,    January          46,776

                 February        48,027

                 March            83,811

                 April             117,212

                 May             244,345

                 June            276,372

                 Marines         14,644

                aggregating 1,019,115

     The total number of troops returned from abroad, lost at sea, and casualties, is 8,165, and of these, by reason of the superbly efficient protection which the Navy has given our transport system, only 282 have been lost at sea.

     The supplies and equipment in France for all troops sent is, by our latest report, adequate, and the output of our war industries in this country is showing marked improvement in practically all lines of necessary equipment and supply.

Respectfully yours, Newton D. Baker    

Source Note: Woodrow Wilson Papers, Volume 48: 476.

Footnote 1: Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, U.S.A., Commander, American Expeditionary Forces.

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