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Captain Arthur de K. L. May, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff, to Commodore Lionel de Vere Wells




Date 16.6.17.


To Commodore Wells Norfolk Va.                                                                   S.1612.



     Your 38. All Allied Merchant Shipping bound U.K. and Northern French Ports from Gulf, Carribbean Sea, Philadelphia and Baltimore are ordered to Hampton Roads This action will increase volume of traffic and should avoid delaying sailings to increase number of vessels.2 In consequence date specified should be adhered to but you are at liberty to advance or retard date 24 hours if you consider necessary.


Source Note: Cy, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/656. A retired naval officer Wells had been serving under the Director of Naval Equipment, and was based in Norfolk. Wells would quickly be placed in charge of all routing and convoy operations from the United States.

Footnote 1: This indicates the cypher used to send the cablegram.

Footnote 2: Shipping was being concentrated for convoys out of Hampton Roads. See: Henry F. Oliver to Montague E. Browning, 16 June 1917.

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