Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
<March 7, 1918>
To: Opnav, Washington
4830. Urgent Your 3531 your 1895. State that Narragansett and Manhattan will be manned with naval personnel and that Yale and Harvard may be had on bare ship basis or by direct purchase. Admiralty and Ministry of Shipping have been informed that Yale and Harvard can be had for crossing channel service, to be manned by British personnel. It is the present understanding that the alterations to those ships are to be made in U. S. and that the crews now in those vessels will bring them to the east coast where British crews will take them over when the vessels are ready and bring them to England. Alterations requested in these vessels were given in my 4353 and previously in my 2706. Admiralty and ministry of shipping are agreed that alterations may be made either in government yard or private yard at discretion of Navy Department. The Manhattan and Narragansett should carry across channel approximately 60,000 troops a month, which is considerably in excess of present U. S. needs but Yale and Harvard much needed by Admiralty. Not of any importance as to who operate the ships as all cross channel vessels will be pooled and used to best advantage 22507.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten and is confirmed by the time/date stamp just before the signature and in a note following the signature, detailed in this source note below. Document identifiers at top of page “X-7”; and “IL 4761.” Routing list below close: “Op-19/Op-28/Op-23/Mat 103pm 3-8-18.”