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General George W. Goethals, Acting Quartermaster General, United States Army, and Director of Storage and Traffic, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

March 27, 1918.        

     Director of Storage and Traffic.

     Chief of Naval Operations.

     Utilization of vessels which are too slow for transatlantic service.

     Reference your letter of March 26th1 on the subject of utilization of vessels which are too slow for transatlantic service, the two vessels named in the letter above refered to, that is, the S. S. WINNEBAGO and the S. S. HATTIE LUCKENBACK, are, in the opinion of the Shipping Control Committee, which opinion is concurred in by this office, entirely too large for the channel service.

     Lake and other steamers of smaller capacity2 and much more suitable for channel service are to be assigned to General Pershing.3 Upon the arrival of these vessels abroad, it is thought that some of those now in the channel service and capable of transatlantic service could be immediately released by General Pershing.

     In this connection, attention is invited to copy of cablegram enclosed herewith,4 which is to be sent to General Pershing in regard to this matter.

<G.W. Goethals>             

G. W. Goethals               

Director of Storage and Traffic. 

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

Footnote 1: This letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: Lake steamers were commercial ships designed for use on the Great Lakes, but acquired by the navy and redesigned for ocean use.

Footnote 3: Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces. See also: Philip A. S. Franklin to Josephus Daniels, 29 March 1918.

Footnote 4: This enclosure was not included in this copy.

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