Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
CABLEGRAM RECEIVED May: <29, 1918> 09236 TOH
Origin Opnav, Washigton Ser. No. 6651
OS-2 30 may
40 ADR Confidential
6651. Representative at ship control committee and owner of American Steamer sailing to Mediterranean Seaport protest to Department against forcing American Armed Vessels at 12 to 13 knots in inadequately protected convoy for slow speed. Recent instance cited, sinking of steamer TYLER May 2nd in convoy of 19 vessels speed 7 and 1/2 knots bright moonlight night not zigzagging and inadequately escorted. Until more adequate escort can be arranged for Mediterranean convoys would it not be advisable to ___ ___ furnish with armed guard and of individual speed greater than 12 knots to sail independently. If this is not considered advisable is it not practicable to arrange for armed guard vessels of speed greater than 12 knots to sail in company without escort or would it be better to substitute slower vessels for Mediterranean service. 19029 6651.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “11-13-2,” and in columnar fashion, “1/2/6/6/J.”