Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, Commander, Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet

NAVY DEPARTMENT

WASHINGTON

CONFIDENTIAL                                    May 29, 1917.

To:  Rear Admiral

     Albert Gleaves, U.S.N.,

          Commander, Destroyer Force,

              Atlantic Fleet.

Subject: To Commander U.S. Convoy Operations in the Atlantic.

1.   You are hereby designated as Commander of U.S. Convoy Operations in the Atlantic.

2.   This is in addition to your other duties.1

                            Josephus Daniels

Source Note: DTS, DLC-MSS, Albert Gleaves Papers, Box 7. The document is typed on Navy Department stationery. At the top of the page is the following identification appears, “N-31/W.” Following Daniels’ signature is a list of individuals who received a copy of this letter: “Operations./C-in-C, Atl. Fleet.” The Chief of Naval of Operations was Adm. William S. Benson. The Commander-in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet was Adm. Henry T. Mayo.

Footnote 1: For how Gleaves came to be chosen for this position, see: William V. Pratt to William S. Sims, 27 May 1917. Gleaves was “delighted” to take command of convoy operations, although some destroyer commanders objected to his leadership. The first convoy departed June 14, 1917, carrying badly-needed American troops to Europe. Gleaves successfully shepherded this convoy across the Atlantic without incident. He would later boast that during the war “convoys under his command did not lose a single soldier on the eastward transatlantic run.” Still, Crisis at Sea: 357, 369.

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