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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters



Origin: Opnav Washington      Serial No. Opnav 889

Via: NCB 18 ABD               Date No. 13029

Copies to:                    File No. 55-4-1

Action referred to:

     C/ of S.1


Opnav 889. SECRET. Commission of highest importance sailing on U.S.S. HUNTINGDON and U.S.S. ST. LOUIS principal personnel one of ambassadorial rank, one flag officer, one general, five assistant secretaries Executive Department; complete list of names and all necessary information in another cable.2 Provide adequate escort.

     Am on commission and wish to be in closest personnel touch with you. To that end desire that you and your staff constitute yourselves virtually members of my staff during our stay. Personally earnestly desire minimum social entertainments, Acknowledge/ 13029.

Admiral Benson.

1:45 am.

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

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ Chief of Staff.

Footnote 2: This particular cable has not been found, but the party referred to is the House Mission, a group dispatched by President Woodrow Wilson under the leadership of his adviser Col. Edward M. House. It included representatives from the U.S. Treasury, War Trade Board, Shipping Board, Food Administration, War Industries Board, and Army chief of staff Gen. Tasker H. Bliss. For more on the mission, see: Sims to Sims, 1 November 1917, footnote 3.