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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Captain Hutchinson I. Cone, Commander, United States Naval Aviation Forces in Europe


Cablegram Sent

Nov 11, 1917.

To <Cone>                                           Serial No.

Via Jackson, Marine, Paris. Prepared by  MO   Appvd. by  NCT1

   N C B 21 D                                         File No.

Copies to: COS, JVB, MO, Lt. Edwards.2

467. For Cone. This message received from Navy Department. Quote 1056. Following resolution of Aircraft Production Board approved by Secretary of the Navy3 quote Be it resolved that the Aircraft Production Board, subject to the approval of the Secretary of War4 and Secretary of the Navy, authorize the establishment of a joint Army and Navy Aircraft committee in Paris which shall represent the Aircraft Production Board and under its supervision shall act for the coordination of the industrial with the military and naval aircraft activities in Europe subject in all military matters to the direction and approval of the Commanding General of the American Expeditionary Force5 abroad and subject in all Naval matters to the direction and approval of the Commander of United States naval forces operating in European Waters unquote. Communicate with Colonel Bolling,6 at present representing Aircraft Board in Paris regarding organization of committee and nominating the necessary members. (Signed) Admiral Benson. Unquote Communicate with Bolling your convenience, taking necessary steps advising Force Commander from time to time. Please make recommendation as to membership.7 22011.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. “Information Copy.” appears in the upper-left corner.

Footnote 1: “MO” possibly refers to Sims’ materiel officer. A British Admiralty document listing the entire staff at Sims’ headquarters does not show an officer specified as materiel officer, but Paymaster Eugene C. Tobey is the first officer listed under the material section; Tobey, however, uses his own initials, ECT, in other documents, so it is not certain that he is who these initials refer to. NCT is Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. John V. Babcock; materiel officer; and Lt. Walter A. Edwards, an aide on Sims’ staff who worked with aviation.

Footnote 3: Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.

Footnote 4: Secretary of War Newton D. Baker.

Footnote 5: Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing.

Footnote 6: Col. Raynal C. Bolling, Signal Corps.

Footnote 7: Per Gen. Pershing’s order, the Joint Army-Navy Aircraft Committee was to consist of three representatives from each service. Brig. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois, commander of the U.S. Air Service in Europe, demanded that the Army outnumber the Navy and that his service take priority in all procurement. The committee met for less than a month before Cone gave up on any meaningful inter-service cooperation and recommended dissolving it in December. Rossano and Wildenberg, Striking the Hornet’s Nest: 132.

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