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


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

Cablegram Sent July <17>, 1918.    TOH

To Opnav, Washington.                        Serial No. 1299

Prep. by R-2                  NCT D.R.


1299. Liverpool Agent American Line has received cable from Franklin of Ship Control Committee1 to effect that after conference between Army and Navy it had been decided that Navy should man and operate all Lake Class Steamers2 now assigned to Army Coal Service between England and France. He was further instructed to get in touch with me and turn ships over to Navy. I approve of this course, but do not feel justified in taking over ships without permission from the Department. If this decision has been made cable instructions are requested, and vessels will be commissioned with Naval crews as rapidly as men and officers can be made available. It is assumed that as soon as commissioned the cost of supplies, repairs, etc., will be chargeable to Naval Appropriations. 22517 1299


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the document.

Footnote 1: Philip A. S. Franklin, Chairman of the Shipping Control Committee in New York.

Footnote 2: For more on the Lake steamers, see: Benson to Sims, 15 March 1918.

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