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

Cablegram Sent 21 November 1917

To Opnav Washington      Serial No. 1586

Via N C B 21 D Prep. by  Appvd. by

Sent Initials  File No.

Copies to: COS, JVB,1

1586. Your 1140. Master of EVANGELINE is Canadian birth due for American citizenship next March. First officer and two qualified engineers are eligible. Crew are Grecian, Danish and Russian. has six French gunners and two French guns. Ship is ready to take over provided crew can be obtained. The foregoing is reported by Wilson.2 I do not recommend operating EVANGELINE in manner proposed by Department in view of impracticability of enrolling officers and crew in Naval Reserve. Recommend French Government be allowed to purchase vessel or lease from Shipping Board to operate on their own account. The French Navy Department states the vessel is urgently needed for coal trade Cardiff, Wales to Bizerta, Tunis for Navy. Coal pile very low and services of this or some other vessel urgently needed immediately.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document is an “Action Copy.

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining served as Sims’ Chief of Staff. Cmdr. John V. Babcock acted as Sims’ aide and de facto Intelligence Officer.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson, Commander, Patrol Forces in France.

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