Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

 

     CABLEGRAM RECEIVED Nov. 17, 1917.

Origin Opnav  Washington.                        Ser. No. 1168

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Admiral Benson.

VERY SECRET.

Simsadus.

1168. Your 1444.1 For Benson. Matter of air craft carrying ships will be taken under advisement and list scanned for available craft.

     Believe if McKean2 were used as operations progress inspector to speed up destroyer program it might have beneficial result in hastening the output.

     Unfortunately the mixture of types in 4 dreadnaughts selected could not be avoided in attempting to carry out spirit of your cable.|3| Probably in December more uniform ships will be available. 10017

Benson.

     12:13 am.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. At this time, Benson was in London as part of an Allied conference. It would appear he authorized his Acting Chief of Naval Operations Capt. William V. Pratt and his staff to sign documents in his name during his absence. They apparently did so even on documents being sent for Benson himself.

Footnote 2: Capt. Josiah S. McKean, Staff, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 3: In Benson’s above-cited cable, co-signed by VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, he complained that it was “unfortunate to mix type of vessels as exists in those selected to be sent over” to the theater of operations in Britain. “Not only do they differ in caliber of guns mounted, but also in the kind of machinery;” he concluded that “I believe a more homogeneous arrangement would be much better.” Ibid.

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