Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser and Transport Force, and Rear Admiral John D. McDonald, Commandant, New York Naval Station
March 3, 1919.
Commandant Naval Station New York
Commander Cruiser and Transport Force.
At request War Department twelve German ships will be converted to troop transports and operated by the Navy for Army account period Navy will handle both conversion and repairs period manufacture or purchase all necessary fittings for all twelve ships whose names will be furnished by Commander Cruiser Force period Approve all requisitions for necessary material in advance of Bureau<’>s formal approval period First five ships to arrive will be assigned to Third Naval District for conversion first ship will probably arrive in United States about April first period If facilities are available it is desired to have all twelve ships converted in Third District Later information as to assignment of ships to districts will be furnished by Commander Cruiser Force or Operations period For any vessels to be converted in districts other than Third comma either provide for delivery of material direct to the converting district or assemble material at New York at your discretion period Navsta New York1
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.
Footnote 1: At the bottom of the document, there is a distribution list typed in, as well as several additional spaces on the form that were not filled in. These have been crossed through by a later editor and are not reprinted here.