Executive Order of President Woodrow Wilson
<January 7, 1919>
Under the authority of the Act of Congress, Chapter 141, Section 5, approved March 3, 1883, it is hereby ordered that all vessels, boats and auxiliary ships of the Navy classified as yachts, colliers, transports, tenders, supply ships, hospital ships, submarine chasers, patrol boats, motor boats, fishing vessels, and special types purchased or commandeered for a substantial consideration by the Navy subsequent to the declaration of Congress by joint resolution approved April 6, 1917, that war exists between the United States and Germany, and provided said vessels were purchased or commandeered for the purpose of said war, be appraised by a board of officers to be designated for this duty by the Secretary of the Navy|1| and be sold by the said Secretary to the former owners of said vessels at the appraised value thereof provided, said former owners are desirous of purchasing said vessels and are willing to pay the amount of said appraisal in each case; and provided further, that, if the former owners of said vessels are not desirous of purchasing said vessels at and for the amount of the said appraisal, the Secretary of the Navy shall advertise and sell at public sale any and all of said vessels, which are, in his opinion, not necessary for the needs of the Navy, for such price as he shall approve.
It is hereby further ordered that the Secretary of the Navy sell, at public sale, such materials and equipment of vessels, boats and auxiliary ships of the Navy as above described, said materials and equipment consisting of masts bowsprits, sails, boats, anchors, tackle, furniture, and all other necessaries appertaining and belonging to such vessels, boats and auxiliary ships as, in his judgment, cannot be advantageously used, repaired or fitted out.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
7 January, 1919.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.