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

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED June <3, 1918.> 12108  TOH

Origin Opnav Washington                        Ser. No. 6800

Ref’d to O-1      Date   4 June <1918>

   40 A DR



6800. Enemy submarine commenced operations sixty miles southeast Barnegat 2 June 3 p.m. sunk by bomb Schooner EDWARD H COLE sunk by method not yet known obstructing JACOB HASKELL Latitude 39° 30' N Longitude 73° 30' W.1 Noon 3 June U.S.S. PREBLE reports now engaging submarine.2 Captain of COLE reports sighting perescope of second submarine.3 Characteristics of submarine actually about 200 feet long mounting 2 large guns 1 forward 1 aft 1 small gun amidship.4 It is not intended to allow this to interrupt East bound convoys. 12003, 6800

/s/ Benson    

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Note below close: “Note ‘Obstruct’ comes clear./Word after ‘actually’ omitted.” The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the text. Document identifier in the top right-hand corner: “16-5-7-A” and in columnar fashion: “1/5/6/[C?]/H/J.”

Footnote 1: On the ships sunk by U-151, see: Diary of Josephus Daniels, 3 June 1918.

Footnote 2: The U.S. destroyer PREBLE did not encounter U-151. The submarine was far south of the PREBLE when the encounter supposedly occurred. Clark, U-Boats to America: 64-5.

Footnote 3: There was no second submarine.

Footnote 4: This description of U-151 is generally accurate. For a detailed discussion of the submarine and its armament, see Ibid., 32.