Skip to main content

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Chronological Copy.                          File No. <42-4-1>

Cablegram Sent July <31>, 1918.         SFM

To:  Opnav                             Serial No. 2075

Prep. by  R-2                      D.R.



2075. Your 86441 and 91132: Preliminary work necessary for taking over both lists of vessels was put in hand at once. All these vessels will be placed under Commander United States Naval Forces in France3, and an organization will be built up under Naval Port Officer at Cardiff4 to handle them at this end. It will be necessary to obtain officers and men from United States to fill complements of these vessels, and request for the necessary personnel will be made as soon as questions of complement and enrollment of a portion of present officers and crew can be settled.5 Currey of American Line 6, and also Barber Steamship Company have been informed that until Navy is prepared to take these vessels over, all questions of operation lie entirely between them and Army Transportation Service. London representative of Army Transportation Service has been informed that first of the vessels may be taken over in about six weeks and the last in about three months. To Meet this schedule however, will require the promptest possible action on requests for officers and men, which requests will be made by cable as soon as circumstances permit. 02131. 2075.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Handwritten date confirmed by time/date stamp at the end of the cable.

Footnote 2: See: Ibid.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Naval Forces in France.

Footnote 4: Commercial vessels originally built for use on the Great Lakes, but converted for ocean use during the war. They were used to transport coal for the Army. Also, see: Sims to Bureau of Ordnance, Bureau of Construction and Repair, and Bureau of Navigation, 30 July 1918.

Footnote 5: Name not found.

Footnote 6: American Line was a transatlantic steamship service founded in 1880, as a subsidiary line of the International Navigation Company.