Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Ralph Earle, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

COPY

NAVY DEPARTMENT

BUREAU OF ORDNANCE

WASHINGTON,   D. C.

Oct.26, 1917

CONFIDENTIAL

To:   Commander, U.S.Naval Forces,

          European Waters.

Subject:  Mining operations proposed.

     1.   The Bureau is preparing to manufacture mines in sufficient quantity for the operations contemplated by the British Admiralty, and it is believed that shipments of these mines may commence soon after the 1st of January.

     2.   A conference has been held with Rear Admiral Hoogewerff, Commander of the Mine Force,1 relative to the method of handling the situation.

     3.   The Bureau desires to send Commander O. G. Murfin2 as its representative under you, to be placed in command of the mine depot to be established at Cromarty.3 He will be assisted by several officers from the Bureau, all of whom are trained in the assembling and handling of the mines. The Commander of the Mine Force will be asked to send representatives of the Mine Force afloat in order to handle the situation afloat. Together with Operations, it is hoped the plan in detail will be worked out and that the proper number of vessels will be designated for this duty, so that when the mines arrive there will be facilities provided for their rapid laying.

     4.   This Bureau will advise as to further progress from time to time.

(Signed) Ralph Earle.        

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference number: (A2)-11/5/HSM. Document received: “Comdr. U.S.Naval Forces/Recd. 15 Nov. 1917/London.”

Footnote 1: RAdm. John A. Hoogewerff, Commander of the Mine Force.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. Orin G. Murfin.

Footnote 3: Cromarty is a port on the East coast of Scotland North of Inverness.

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