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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Naval District Commandants

Operations (Naval Districts) 

May 10, 1917.      


Commandant Fourth Naval District,

 "    "    Fifth    "      "1

          Buy immediately all fishing vessels inspected and found able to cross Atlantic period.2 Lease all others fishing vessels suitable for district work period. Inform Managers of fishing companies that boats will be bought or leased if favorable terms can be obtained  10510.

Secnav. Josephus Daniels.

Source Note: CCy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. There is an identification number in the upper left corner: “Op-[14-8].” However, this number is crossed through and difficult to read.

Footnote 1: The Fourth Naval District, headquartered at League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, included southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The commandant was Capt. Robert L. Russell. The Fifth Naval District, headquartered at Norfolk Navy Yard, Norfolk, VA, included parts of Maryland, West Virginia, most of Virginia, and northern North Carolina. The commandant was RAdm. Walter McLean.

Footnote 2: Fishing trawlers were used as minesweepers and in anti-submarine operations, under the aegis of the Royal Navy. 2,083 trawlers were employed in naval operations, of which 1,456 were hired and operated. For a more detailed description of their employment in World War I, see, Paul Lund and Harry Ludlum, Trawlers Go to War (London: W. Foulsham, 1972).

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