Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Chronological Copy.                               File No.

          Cablegram Received May <1-1918> 07302 LEM

Origin    Opnav Washington                   Ser. No. 5573

          M1   May 1

31AD                     <VERY SECRET>

Simsadus

5573. Naval Tank ship sails shortly for Davenport <Devonport>. Can carry deck cargo of seaplanes in addition to those been sent in ship with Whiting.1 Could these seaplanes be trans-shipped to or assembled and flown from Davenport <Devonport> to other stations. Since a small amount Naval Shipping ordinarily goes to Queenstown Ireland or Pau<i>ll<i>ac it will be necessary either to assign special ship to transport seaplanes to those bases or to send them on regular cargoes and tank ships to such ports as these ships may go to and arrange for trans-shipment to Pau<i>ll<i>ac and Queenstown. Situation brought about by absolute necessity for utilizing all possible dead weight cargo capacity on account of scarcity of shipping. Early recommendation desired. 20001 5573

          Opnav.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The date is handwritten but is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the text.

Footnote 1: Lt. Kenneth Whiting, formerly Commander, First Aeronautic Detachment. Whiting had returned to the United States late in 1917 to lay the groundwork for an American naval air station at Killingholme, England. He returned to England in May, 1918. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat: 45, 168-69. It is not known which Navy tanker brought Whiting and his planes across the Atlantic Ocean.

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