Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Brigadier General William Wallace Atterbury, Director-General of Transportation, American Expeditionary Forces
My dear General,
Referring to your letter of November 5th, we are now working in my headquarters on a plan of demobilization which will of course include the work that we will do in connection with sending home our gallant soldiers.
Recently, the Department has requested me to send them a list of the crews which we think will be sufficient to handle the vessels, and also an estimate of the number of troops each vessel will be able to carry. The intention of the Navy Department is of course to use these ships as transports to get our people home. There will not be much trouble as far as naval personnel is concerned as we have only 75,000 men over here and at least half of them are on board vessels which will carry them home. Moreover, a great many of the remaining personnel will be employed on this side in clearing up the mess and getting back our material and in the work at the ports where the soldiers are to be embarked so that the problem of getting the Navy back home will not materially interfere with the work that we will be able to do for the Army. As soon as I have any definite information on this subject I will at once let you know.
Very sincerely yours,
Source Note: TL, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 47. The letter is addressed below the close, “Brigadier General W.W.Atterbury. U.S.A./American Expeditionary Forces/Headquarters S.O.D./ Transportation Service.France.”