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Captain William V. Pratt, Assistant (Acting) Chief of Naval Operations, to Rear Admiral Leigh C. Palmer, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation


c o p y


From:     Chief of Naval Operations.

To:       Bureau of Navigation and Commander-in-Chief.

Subject:  Policy of operations re.the readjustment of complements.

Reference:     (a) Bureau of Navigation confidential letter # N1 CMB 1 MH, October 10, 1917.1

               (b) C-in-C’s letter 24 October, 1917.2

     1.   Forwarded.

     2.   While the ultimate mission of every force which forms an integral part of the Fleet is to fit itself to play its part most efficiently in battle; to expeditiously accomplish this ultimate mission for the good of the whole, may require the assignment of immediate missions to parts of the organization, which missions must depend both on the immediate operation of war to be performed and the ultimate goal to be achieved.

     3.   The ultimate and immediate mission of the vessels of Battleship Force Two shall be to maintain themselves in instant readiness for battle.

     4.   The ultimate mission of Battleship Force One is to fit itself for battle. To that end it shall maintain a permanent neucleus battle organization of both officers and men sufficient to keep the material in constant readiness for battle and permit rapid preparation for battle when battle complement is assigned. The immediate mission of battleship force one is to train officers and men for service on other vessels.

     5.   The immediate mission of vessels of the Cruiser Force is to guard convoys.

     6.   The immediate mission of the Destroyer Force is to operate against the enemy vessels.

     7.   The immediate mission of the Submarine Force is two-fold (a) to operate against the enemy, (b) – to train personnel for service in new vessels that may operate against the enemy. Ships not engaged in operating against the enemy should be engaged in training personnel.

     8.   The immediate mission of the Train is the service of logistics, (a) for our military or naval forces at the fighting front, (b) for our fleet at home, [c) in any Allied service abroad, (d) general service at home.

     9.   In all forces, when not incompatible with the immediate mission, additional personnel should be carried for training.

/s/ W.V.PRATT,


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers “#28754-35:51” appear in the left about even with the date.

Footnote 1: This letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Atlantic Fleet. This letter has not been found.