Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
Chronological Copy. File No. <11-4-1>
Cablegram Received November
16<14> 1918 Y-54
Origin Opnav Washington Ser. No. 5110
SWO Nov 16
Simsadus For Benson.
5110 After consultation with Army and in agreement with them following is general policy for employing vessels transporting forces until further orders.Eastward sailing, one fast
veddel <vessel> or more if necessary will sail from New York N. Y. for Brest France on weekly schedules carrying mail and such passengers, troops and cargo as are assigned. These vessels will run under present regulations and restrictions which govern movements of troop convoys. Other vessels which have cargo capacity will sail eastward independently when loaded and will not carry troops exceeding <except> ( ) in certain exceptional cases when will be sailed in convoys. These transports sailing independenyly <independently> will be routed same manner other cargo ships. As several transports have very limited cargo capacity only vessels having capacity approximately 2,000 tons and above will be considered available this service. Stand EES and present equipment for troop transportation will not be removed but cargo may be carried on eastward voyage in present troop spaces when possible and when it will not prevent transportation of maximum number troops on westerly voyage. Vessels will ( ) at ports to which at present assigned. Westerly sailing all troop transports on voyages will carry such sick, wounded, convalescent troops and casuals [i.e., casualties] as may be assigned them within their capacity. Vessels will not be held in Europe but will be turned and sailed westerly when ready<.> <I>f necessary to hold any vessel this will be done in United States where overhauling may be carried on. War Department has [asked] General Pershing to inform them of his estimate of number <to> be transported at present and in immediate future, no reply received to date. In accordance with above Commander Cruiser Force submit schedule showing prospective sailing dates and make such recommendations as desired. In addition to above sailing of one vessel every ten days for British ports under consideration. USS PLATTSBURG, USS HARRISBURG H[,] USS LOUISVILLE considered for this duty. Sims making recommendations concerning this sailing to British ports. Acknowledge. 23014 5110
RETRANSMIT. N. B. “carry troops exceeding comes clear. Word probably omitted after “Vessels will.”
Sent 420 AM Nov 15 1918
Recd 846 AM Nov 15 1918
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date notation at the end of the cable.