Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Frank A. Scott, Chairman, General Munitions Board

[Washington, D.C.] May 15, 1917.

Gentlemen: The Navy Department announces, for your information and guidance, the following order of precedence of work involved in the preparation of war, under its cognizance:

  (1) Delivery of material to vessels completed and undergoing overhaul or authorized alterations.

  (2) Repair work for vessels of the fleet.

  (3) Arming merchantmen.

  (4) Arming merchant auxiliaries.

  (5) Submarine chasers.

  (6) Destroyers.

  (7) Scout cruisers.

  (8) Aircraft and their equipment.

  (9) Submarines (large and small).

  (10) Battleships.

  (11) Fuel ships.

  (12) Destroyer tenders.

  (13) Submarine tenders.

  (14) Hospital ships.

  (15) Ammunition ships.

  (16) Repair ships.

  (17) Transports.

  (18) Gunboats.

  (19) Battle cruisers.

     Very truly, yours,

Josephus Daniels,       

Secretary of the Navy.

Chairman General Munitions Board,

               Munsey Building, Washington, D.C.

Source Note: Printed, Naval Investigation, 2: 1672. Below the letter is a note that similar letters were sent to the following: “Chief of Naval Operations. Bureaus of Construction and Repair, Steam Engineering, Ordnance, Navigation Supplies and Accounts, Medicine and Surgery, Yards and Docks, General Board, Commandant, Coast Guard Service, Council of National Defense, The Secretary of War, United States Shipping Board.” This document was introduced by Adm. Josiah McKean as part of his testimony before the congressional investigation committee. He noted that the priority list changed from “time to time as the situation developed.” Ibid.

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