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

Chronological Copy.                                                   Cablegram Sent      June 12, 1918.    SFM

To Opnav, Washington.                        Serial No. 9469

Prep. by C-1      Apo’vd. by  SX        D.R.

{  Cable 

Rec’d         Coded          Cypher 22 ADR   Disp’ing  {



9469. Your 7013.1 U.S.S. BIRMINGHAM and U.S.S. CHESTER are assigned as ocean escorts of convoys between Gibraltar and England. If these vessels were withdrawn other escorts would have to be taken from the Mediterranean to replace them. Present losses in Mediterranean are so large that every effort is being made to add to forces there. All Mediterranean convoys are weakly escorted and additional destroyers are very badly needed. Submarines repeatedly attack same convoy. Yesterday 3 ships shot from one convoy.2 Under circumstances do not feel free to recommend withdrawal of these 2 ships without relief. 21212. 9469.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 2: The attacks took place on 9 June; three merchantmen (Tewfikieh, Clan Forbes, and Pundit) were sunk near each other off Alexandria, Egypt.