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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

X-24                                   Bensec 14


From: Admiral Benson

To  : Secretary of the Navy

Bensec # 14    Following message from Rodman1 to Department has been forwarded to me by Sims2 for further transmission quote Should Blue3 be detached from USS TEXAS, request he be relieved by Beach, Palmer4 to command USS NEW YORK and remain chief of staff unquote I recommend no change in commanding officersUSS TEXAS and USS NEW YORK.

          From time to time since Ninth Division has been in European waters question of chief of staff that force has been under discussion. I have consistently opposed this idea because contrary to our policy and organization to appoint chief of staff for division. If change in this policy has been made, policy was decided upon and Palmer appointed without my knowledge and without reference to Office of Naval Operations. As this force is soon to return to its normal status as a division Atlantic Fleet I wish to reiterate my views and to suggest no chief of staff be appointed and if such step has been taken that appointment of same be revoked.

          If on the other hand Secretary of the Navy has already decided to detach Blue I see no reason why Beach should be transferred from USS NEW YORK to USS TEXAS in order to make vacancy for Palmer. In my opinion Beach performing his duties satisfactorily and if Blue detached Palmer may be ordered to command the USS TEXAS without disturbing personnel of USS NEW YORK.

182727    Bensec 14

Op 19

   28-6                 5:35 pm                 11-28-18


Source Note: Cable, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 415.

Footnote 1: RAdm. Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine. Rodman’s division was attached to the British Grand Fleet under the command of Adm. Sir David Beatty

Footnote 2: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 3: Capt. Victor Blue, Commander, TEXAS.

Footnote 4: Capt. Edward L. Beach, Commander, NEW YORK; Capt. Leigh C. Palmer, Chief of Staff, Battleship Division Nine. Palmer had been designated as chief of staff on 12 November and still held that title when the 1919 Navy Register was printed.

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