Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Destroyers Operating from British Bases, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

CABLE DISPATCH

Sent: May 1st, 1917.                    TO: Sec. of Navy.

          British Admiralty has decided to give trial to the convoy scheme described in my last despatch.1 Instead of present plan of naval forces operating independently against raiders, there will be a high sea convoy against raiders, such convoy to be establish as quickly as possible on all main trade routes, and on approach to dangerous areas on this side will be met by destroyers and escorted into port. Hampton Raods <Roads> and New York have been proposed as assembly ports for east bound vessels on our coast and Gulf with convoys sailing every fourth day. Plan decided on after long consideration by Admiralty and war council and is considered absolutely necessary. It will strain British resources of personnel and ships to the limit, and we must assist by taking one route at least if the plan is to be carried out. Admiralty desire to be informed whether we can provide escorts for convoys sailing from the rendezvous at New York. British estimate about fourteen ships will be required from New York service and larger numbers for other routes including Mediterranean and South America[. E]scorts should have sustained sea speed of at least twelve knots and six-inch guns. I urgently recommend favorable action. Through British naval representative at Washington details of plan will [be] communicated from time to time as necessary.2

SIMS.         

NO OF COPIES   2                        REFERENCE NO.

Source Note: C, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517. Portions in angle brackets were handwritten additions.

Footnote 2: For more on the convoy plans, see: Sims to Daniels, 1 May 1917.

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