Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral Henry S. Knapp, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

              WESTERN UNION

              TELEGRAM        1919 MAY 3 PM 5   14

          RECEIVED AT NAVY DEPARTMENT

45 co or usgvt

              London 212/211 first 49

OPNAV WASHN Filed 457pm

974o following from admiral strauss1 quote

results of first minesweeping expedition indicates work of clearing north sea barrage probably cannot be completed this year with present number of minesweepers urgently request that at least sixteen more sweepers of parenthesis bird parenthesis class be fitted out and despatched to kirkwall earliest possible date four of these to be sent as soon as provisioned to [be] fitted by us black hawk with spare electrical equipment now on hand remainder must be filled with electrical gear prior to departure to maintain additional sweepers. A supply ship preferably a supply and repair ship combined will be required in addition to the black hawk period paragraph understand deep sea new england trawlers are available period. If so request thirty of these be sent period vessels that type necessary as tenders submarine chasers not found useful period unless vessels of this type can be supplied it will be necessary to attempt to get them from great britain paragraph expe<n>ditu<r>e of sweep gear will be much heavier than expected period double the amount of right and left hand serrated sweepwire and insulated cable that was originally ordered should be shipped in addition to the original quantity. 224o2 unquote I approve foregoing recommendations 1433o3 974o

                   KNAPP

                        51opm may 3-1919

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. On 5 May, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations forwarded the contents of this cablegram to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, informing him that twelve minesweepers could be equipped and dispatched within six weeks and asking for his instructions as to whether this would be suitable. On 7 May, Benson replied, informing his office to send the combined repair and supply vessel that Strauss requested, in addition to the twelve minesweepers that were available.

Footnote 1: RAdm. Joseph Strauss, Commander, Mine Force One, Atlantic Fleet.