Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
File No. 30-2-12
Date 12/1/18 Serial No. 240
Sent 336 PM 12/1/18 Cipher B
Recd. 542 PM 12/1/18 <December 1, 1918.>
From Amnavpar Paris To Simsa<d>us
In order to take advantage of weather and clear way for army it is directed demobilization of Naval Forces in European waters be hastened as much as possible.
My opinion terms of armistice have been complied with to such extent that complete plans for demobilization of forces European waters should be energetically pushed except as other wise directed by department if your views differ in this regard I should like to know them in full.1Every opportunity should be taken advantage of to send personnel home and vessels should be sent as rapidly as they can be prepared for trip <across>. Every care should be taken to insure safety of passage across. 154101 240
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifier “Y-109” appears centered at the top of the page. The heading “CABLEGRAM RECEIVED” appears centered amid the other heading material, but will not fit in the lines in this format.
Footnote 1: Sims replied the following day that he was “in entire accord” with Benson and assured the CNO that he would “push demobilization as rapidly as possible,” with the caveat that he hoped to give crews at least a short leave, and that President Woodrow Wilson’s forthcoming visit might complicate the process. Sims to Benson, 2 December 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.