Commander Charles R. Belknap, Jr., Director, Naval Overseas Transportation Service, to Commanding Officers, Naval Overseas Transportation Service Vessels
Office of Naval Operations
November 13, 1918.
From: Chief of Naval Operations.
To: Commanding Officers all vessels of N. O. T. S.
SUBJECT: Present mission of N. O. T. S.
1. The President of the United States has formally announced to the American people that an armistice has been signed between Germany and her allies and the United States and Allied nations. This armistice suspends hostilities until such time as peace may be declared.
2. The attention of Commanding Officers of vessels of N. O. T. S. is called to the fact that rigid discipline with resulting efficiency cannot be slacked up, that alertness for breach of this armistice by the enemy must be constantly maintained, that vessels must be kept in such efficient condition that should the enemy break the terms of the armistice, these vessels will continue to perform their duty in the same manner which they have during the period of the war.
3. Our Navy and Army overseas must continue to be maintained in a state of readiness for action until such time as the President of the United States announces that peace has been declared, and even after that time our Navy and Army overseas must be fed and maintained until such time as their services are no longer required. The great burden of maintaining this line of communication will fall upon the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. The work of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service will increase rather than decrease. Time saved in turn-arounds is added tonnage, the same now as before the armistice was signed.
4. Commanding Officers will impress upon officers and men that the successful conclusion of the war as much as the winning of the war depends upon the efficient and faithful performance of duty of all hands connected with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Following the close is a distribution list: “Copies to: District Supervisors, N.O.T.S. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, and Charleston,/ General Inspector, N.O.T.S.,/ All Bureaus of the Navy Department,. Commandants, All Naval Districts,/ Commander U.S.Naval Forces in European Waters (30).”