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Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

Form A

Action Copy.                                File No.

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED 23 November <22,> 1918.

Origin        Simsadus London               Ser. No. 193

Ref’d to











      Amnavpar Paris.

For: Benson.

     Referring to proposal contained in Bunav letter number 3248-254 dated October 7, 19181 regarding Naval vessels for transporting troops I wish to strongly urge and earnestly protest against [using] the battleships, cruisers or destroyers for the transporting of troops. Such use would destroy their military efficie<n>cy and put fleet back year or two just at time when every effort should be made to maintain the Fleet at the highest point of efficiency. Request that final action on this question be not taken until I can personally see the Secretary about December 3rd. Opnav Amnavpar Paris for Admiral Benson. Mayo|2| 172222.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date notation at the end of the text of the cable.

Footnote 1: This letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: Mayo met with Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels on 28 December where he again objected to using naval ships to transport troops. Daniels, however, refused to change his policy because, as he wrote in his diary, “I had promised the army & could not change.” Entry of 28 December 1918, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1. Daniels did note in that entry that Benson had “changed his mind” and now agreed with Mayo. Ibid. In the end, U.S. Navy battleships and cruisers transported some 143,000 troops home. Still, Victory Without Peace, 48.

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