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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Rec.20th.June [1917].         To: Alusna.1          R200.

     For Vice Admiral Sims. No25

Would you recommend fitting up Intrepid, Cumberland or Boxer as mystery ships, if considered practicable.2 20019.

Daniels, Secy.Navy.

Source Note: CyC, RG 45, Entry 520.

Footnote 1: That is, American Legation United States Naval Attaché, which in London was Capt. William D. MacDougall.

Footnote 2: A mystery ship or “Q” ship was a decoy ship that appeared to be a harmless merchantman but was in reality heavily armed. Its purpose was to lure a submarine close aboard then attack it. Sims replied negatively to this query. See, Sims to Daniels, 24 June 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. However, the Americans did obtain a steamer, the S.S. Arvonian, from the British in August 1917 and transformed it into the Q ship Santee. Charles D. Gibson, Merchantman? Or Ship of War (Camden, ME: Ensign Press, 1986), 60-61.

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