Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
Chronological Copy. File No.
Cablegram Received March <4, 1918.> 17305 ROC
Origin Opnav, Washington. Ser. No. 3494
AD-1 5 March
3494. Your 4632. To prevent excess demand being made on merchant tonnage whereby bottoms are withdrawn from trade to be converted into army hospital ships, Navy adopted as policy the principle that it would put its hospital ships into joint service for its Military and Naval forces. In performance of this work these ships are to be used as ambulance ships, not floating hospitals and will go where most pressing need exists. That need may soon exist in France or it may be in North Sea. For present both hospital ships will join our fleet, ready for allocation elsewhere the moment a definite need is anticipated. 21004.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.