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 26th October 1918 Y-42
To Comfran Brest Serial No. 8496
Prep by O1 NCT SX
8496 URGENT. In order that shipping may take full advantage while there is no enemy activity in Bay of Biscay and until further orders you are authorised to sail cargo ships to westward in groups with escort of one unit, escort to remain with group approximately 24 hours. Groups not to be sailed from assembly ports oftener than once a day and to be routed clear of convoys as usual. Admiralty concur in including British cargo ships in these groups. Groups should be instructed and formed in same manner as convoys and should remain together until across to convoy tracks and farther if there is submarine activity to westward. Zigzagging and all usual submarine precautions are to be carried out. Suggest escort for coastal convoys may be reduced and escort for HB convoys may be reduced to 4 units in order to rest and repair escorting ships.
Foregoing modifications to revert immediately to former methods when there are indications of submarine activity in Bay of Biscay or when ordered 175926 8496
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 445, Entry 517B.