Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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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