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

29 November 1917,


[1351.] Your 1742 and our 1296.1 There will be in Hampton Roads ready to sail about Dec. 5 bound for Italy twenty three craft of varying nationalities comma no speed exceeds eleven knots and none under eight and a half. The Shipping Board most anxious to get these ships away for Italy and we are prepared to convoy them to Gibraltar. Only seven ships are armed. Pursuant to the Admiralty avowed policy we are endeavoring to make ships adopt convoy and are refusing clearances unless ships adopt same or are armed. Under circumstances cannot see force of your argument in holding up this convoy carrying stores much needed for Italy. Unless cogent reasons are presented this convoy should sail, for to postpone it will slow up shipping. 13029.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: See: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Sims, 24 November 1917. In number 1742, Sims complained that the “Plan proposed may slow up shipping too much. Suggest no definite action be taken until matter is discussed with Admiralty.” Sims to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 27 November 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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