Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

U.S.NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS

Battleship Division Nine

UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET

NEW YORK, Flagship.                                        A/L

25 November 1918.

From:     Commander BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE.

To  :     Secretary of the Navy.

Subject:  Battleship Division Nine – Return of.

     1.  Orders have been received for this Battleship Force to proceed to Base Three, Hampton Roads.1

     2.  The officers and men are unaminous [i.e., unanimous] in their desire to proceed to New York instead.

     3.  We have been on “four hours notice” for just a year, no leave nor liberty worth mentioning, and I think that on our arrival home it would be only just and considerate to go to New York for a week or ten days to grant liberty.

     4.  This will be the first large force to return from the War Zone, and it seems to me most desirable from every stand point, that you, and some of the chiefs of Bureaus, or other high officials, should pay us a visit on our arrival.

     5.  In addition to which it would be most gratifying to officers and men to have you inspect these ships and see what has been accomplished in upkeep, maintenance, and efficiency, during a year of active service in the War Zone, without any lengthy overhaul period.2

     6.  It would also greatly add to the popularity of the Navy, if this force could go into the North river direct from the War Zone, and a radio message to this effect before reaching our home coast would accomplish the desired result.3

Hugh Rodman

Source Note: DTS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 381. There is a routing list below the signature: “To: Secy.of the Navy,/File.” There is a handwritten note at the bottom of the page: “Favorable action/previously taken in/Opnav dispatch Mission 75 of Nov 11, 1918/[J?]BE.” and typed below that is: “Finished-Evans-File.” Evans, who may have been the person who initialed the note, has not been further identified.

Footnote 1: These orders were later revised and the Battleship Division 9 was sent to Portland, England, “preparatory to meeting and acting as escort to the President [Woodrow Wilson] on his intended visit to Europe, accompanying him from point of meeting to Brest, France.” Rodman to William S. Sims, 1 December 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 381. Rodman’s division left Rosyth, Scotland, and the British Grand Fleet on 1 December.

Footnote 2: In a report to Sims dated 1 December, Rodman asserted that “this Division are in a far better condition in every way than they were when they left home.” Rodman to Sims, 1 December 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 381.

Footnote 3: Rodman’s division was allowed to go to New York and a “Naval Review” was held there, attended by Daniels, on 26 December 1918. Daniels, Cabinet Diaries, 358.

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