Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
October 24th 1917.
From : Force Commander
To : Secretary of the Navy (Operations)
Subject: Extension of Convoy System.
A further extension of the convoy system has just been put in operation within the past few days. Heretofore convoys have been sailing from Gibraltar to England, but the convoys leaving England were dispersed after passing the submarine zone, and arrived at Gibraltar singly. This has now been modified, and the convoys leaving England will be carried direct to Gibraltar. The ocean escorts formerly bringing these convoys into England consisted mostly of mystery ships. These have now been released for the work for which they are specially fitted, and the following U.S. vessels will be used to bring these convoys into England and to take convoys from England to Gibraltar. It will require about 7 or 8 of our vessels for this work, and the following will be used for the present, being relieved from time to time for boiler cleaning and overhaul:-
The employment of our vessels on this duty exposes them to somewhat greater risk against submarines than obtains in the area near Gibraltar; but these risks must be assumed in order to carry out the best protection to our own and allied shipping
WM. S. SIMS.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.