Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Lieutenant Commander Walter M. Falconer, Senior Officer Present, Submarine Chaser Escort Detachment and Commander, U.S.S. Wadena

          SECRET

14 May 1918.  

From: Chief of Naval Operations.

To:   Senior Officer Present Submarine Chaser Escort Detachment.

SUBJECT: Movement Order.

     1.   When in all respects ready for sea, and when advised by the Commander of the Naval District Base, New London,1 that the detachment of submarine chasers is prepared for distant service, you will proceed with xxxxx submarine chasers designated and with the USS HANNIBAL  USS ONTARIO

                        USS GRESHAM      USS UNDAUNTED

                        USS TUSCARORA    USS MOHAVE

                        USS GOLIATH      USS ARCTIC

     2.   Several submarine chasers belonging to the French government have been assembled at New London to join the convoy under your command. It is intended that these vessels will be convoyed in the same manner as the American submarine chasers, and will be subject to the same orders and instructions given to the American chasers.

     3.   It is imperative that every precaution be taken to prevent vessels from becoming separated from the convoy, as such an event is liable to be attended by the most serious consequences. Methods to prevent vessels from losing touch with the convoy will be carefully planned, and the movement order and letter of instructions to your forces will contain specific instructions on this subject.

     4.   It is intended that the submarine chasers will proceed from New London, Connecticut to Bermuda under their own power. In case of emergency, any submarine chasers under your command can be taken in tow by some vessel of the escorting force. Furthermore, the submarine chasers themselves are fitted with special towing devices which will enable them to take one another in tow, if necessary.

     5.   Upon your arrival at Bermuda, you will report to the Senior U.S.Naval Officer present, and exert every effort to prepare submarine chasers and escort vessels for sea. All chasers will be fully provisioned and fully fueled before leaving Bermuda.

     6.   It is expected that the following vessels will be assembled at Bermuda to serve as escort vessels for the passage to the Azores:

     USS SALEM      USS UNDAUNTED

     USS HANNIBAL   USS GOLIATH

     USS Wadena     USS MOHAVE

     USS YACONA     USS ARCTIC

          USS ONTARIO

and a fuel ship to be designated later.

     7.   When the submarine chasers and escort vessels are ready in every respect for sea, you will proceed from Bermuda to Ponta del Gada, Azores. The fuel ship designated to accompany the detachment of submarine chasers from Bermuda to the Azores will be fitted for fueling the submarine chasers at sea, and it is purposed that the xxx submarine chasers shall proceed under their own power, fueling at sea from the fuel ship as may be necessary.

     8.   The submarine chasers of the detachment are all fitted with special towing appliances which will enable them to be taken in tow by the escort vessels, or tow each other if necessary or advisable.

     9.   Upon arrival at Ponta del Gada, report to the Senior Officer Present,2 and turn over to him to await further instructionsk the USS HANNIBAL, USS ONTARIO and the submarine chasers under your command.

     10.  Upon the completion of this duty, and when in all respects ready for sea, proceed from Ponta del Gada, Azores, to Bermuda, with the vessels of the escorting force, except the two specified in the preceding paragraph.

     11.  Upon your arrival at Bermuda, report by dispatch to the Department, requesting further instructions.

W.S. Benson        

Source Note: CyS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “Op-25-B.”

Footnote 1: Capt. William T. Tarrant, Commander, Naval District Base, New London.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Herbert O. Dunn, Commander, United States Naval Forces in the Azores.