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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, and Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Action Copy.                                File No.

          CABLEGRAM RECEIVED       23 November <22,> 1918.

Origin Washington                      Ser. No. Mission 24

Ref’d to




Amnavpar, Paris



Your Mission 24,1 on demobilization is hereby approved to take effect as fast as the exigencies of the service permit and accomplishment is hereby directed. The following additions will govern. All preparations mining in Mediterranean Sea and Aegean will cease. Cancellation of all manufacturing orders in United States will be directed. All shipments of Naval material to United States forces in Italy and Corfu except that necessary for demobilization will be stopped. All Naval Aviation shipments from United States will be stopped. All shipments of ordnance material will be stopped. The Northern Bombing Squadrons will be demobilized. The U.S. Naval Base at Gibraltar will be demobilized except as to repair facilities, salvage units, tugs and flagship. Thirty six submarine chasers now in Mediterranean Sea will be sent to Asiatic station with proper convoy as soon as practicable. 66 sub-chasers now at Plymouth, and Queenstown, Ireland will be sold to Allied Governments if purchase is desired by them and a fair price obtained, otherwise sent under convoy to Charleston S.C. via Madeira Islands and Bermuda Islands. 18 sub-chasers now at Gibraltar will be sent home to Charleston S.C. via Madeira Islands and Bermuda Islands. The Question of Mediterranean Sea Army store-ships carrying surplus naval stores from Gibraltar to the United States will be taken up here. Azores will not be demobilized at present but will be treated separately. All Naval air-craft stations except Azores will be demobilized and sent home as fast as practicable. Mine carriers and colliers shall be used for the work. Mine bases will be demobilized and vessels and material belonging to the United States will be sent home but necessary facilities for operations of United States minesweepers participating in mine sweeping in North Sea will be retained. Demobilize bases at Queenstown and Plymouth as soon as practicable sending home vessels, personnel and material in accordance with our 56002 except repair ships and salvage units. Continue in full commission Cardiff and Liverpool organizations retaining necessary repair ships at Cardiff and retaining in full commission cross-channel steamers and their shore organizations as long as needed. All naval vessels, naval material in accordance with our 5600 and naval personnel will be sent home from French coast except the following:

(A) Vessels personnel and material needed in connection with demobilization of Army.

(B) United States mine sweepers until duty completed.

(C) Destroyers until services are no longer necessary.

All construction work except on radio high power stations necessary for demobilization plans will be suspended. When naval railroad batteries are no longer needed by army, mounts will be dissembled by Commander3 and guns and useful ordnance equipment returned to the United States. That part of battery which can be used commercially such as engines, sleeping cars, etc excepting the 10 ammunition cars and workshop cars which are to be returned to the Army provided they are desired or needed by the army, or if not needed by the army to be sold in the same manner as the army rolling stock. Necessary hospitals including Queenstown will be retained with such alteration or reduced complement as necessary, which corresponds to demobilization. Such tugs as are required in demobilization of army and in salvage or other work will be retained in European Waters. 13022.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45. Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: For a copy of this cable, see: Opnav to Benson, 22 November 1918.

Footnote 2: This cable has not been subsequently located.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Charles P. Plunkett.

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