Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Vice Admiral Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Naval Forces in France
Cablegram Sent 22 Nov. 1918
To Comfran Brest. Serial No. 9962
Prep. by A-10 A-9 Ap’vd by SX D.R.
Rec’d Coded Cypher Clear Disp’chd
9962 General demobilization of Naval Aviation Forces, Foreign Service, is hereby authorized to take effect immediately. Return to the United States all metal working and woodworking machine tools, and accessories, coppersmith tools, instruments and instrument testing apparatus, aeroplane motors and spares for same but not electric generating sets. Return seaplane accessories and all ordnance and ordnance gear, office equipment except wooden furniture. Also return photographic equipment and supplies, aerographic equipment, dirigibles, nourrices and American kite balloons, Delco testing outfits and all radio apparatus. Return all seaplanes and aeroplanes not yet unboxed but postpone disposal of unpacked planes and material for same until further instructions. Return all medical equipment and supplies as soon as use for same has expired to nearest medical supply depot except that of Northern Bombing which should be shipped to Eastleigh under convoy of the pharmacist. Also return to the United States all land and water transportation including machine shop lorries and ambulances and spares except English and French make motor trucks, cars, and spares for same, but no motor transportation to be shipped until use for same for demobilization purposes is passed. Mess gear not to be shipped until it is no longer required to supplement outfits transports returning to United States. Hold disposition of all other aviation material and equipment for further instructions. Only material not in poor condition should be returned to the United States. Purchase of all necessary material for packing is hereby authorized. An effort is now being made to obtain the services of the
DEFIANT <Defiance> which is now unloading at Dunkerque. You will be advised further on this point as soon as definite information has been received from the United States. If this vessel can be allocated to the demobilization of Naval Aviation, it will be placed under your orders to load all aviation material and equipment for shipment to United States. Unless this occupies entire cargo space, DEFIANT <Defiance> will be further ordered to England and Ireland to collect aviation material before returning to the United States. 145022 9962
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The introductory material, much of which is printed on the form, is repeated on the second page. On that page after the date is typed: “Y-74,” presumably the designation of the yeoman who typed the cable.