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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Captain William B. Fletcher, Commander, Special Patrol Squadron

          Washington         June 1, 1917

To: Captain W. B. Fletcher, U.S.Navy.1

Subject: Patrol duty off French coast.

Enclosure: (1)2

     1. The following vessels now fitting out for distant service will constitute a United States Naval Force to be designated “U.S. Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters”.


          HARVARD           KANAWHA II     NOMA

          SULTANA        VEDETTE

Other vessels will be added when available.3

     2. Organize this force and proceed to the Coast of France.

     3. (a) When in all respects ready for sea proceed to Brest, France, by way of Azores Islands, calling at Bermuda if you desire. Direct CORSAIR and APHRODITE to report to Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, U.S.Navy, for temporary convoy service.

     4. The British Admiralty has 3600 tons of Cardiff coal at St. Michaels, Azores, available for your use. Memorandum of dispatch from British Admiralty giving facilities for coaling at St. Michaels is enclosed. 6000 tons of coal will arrive in W.S. collier ORION at Ponta Delgada by 15 June.

     5. When within radio communication of French Forces off Coast of France, call “G C K” and report to French Vice Admiral at Brest4 using British General Code. On arrival at Brest report to Vice-Admiral W. S. Sims through U.S. Naval Attache at Paris.5 Make no reports direct to Department after arrival.

Josephus Daniels  

Source Note: TDS, RG45, Entry 517. There is a note below Daniels’ signature that copies of this memorandum were sent to VAdm. William S. Sims, RAdm. Albert Gleaves, and VAdm. Henry T. Mayo, “C-inC Atlantic Fleet”. Below this routing list is a note: “Received:/June 3rd, 1917/W. B. Fletcher.”

Footnote 1: Before being detached on 25 May, Capt.  Fletcher had been a member of the General Board of the Navy.

Footnote 2: The enclosure is not with the memorandum.

Footnote 3: All of these vessels were armed yachts that the Navy had leased or received as donations upon the outbreak of war.

Footnote 4: VAdm. Frederic Moreau.

Footnote 5: Lt. Cmdr. William R. Sayles, Jr. Fletcher became the American commander in France but was relieved in October 1917 by RAdm. Henry B. Wilson.

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