Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Chronological Copy. File No. <55-5-3>
Cablegram Sent Nov 14, 1918 Y 46
To Opnav, Washington Serial No. 9705
Prep. by O1 SX D.R.
9705 Your 46561
1. In order to provide maximum security in transporting troops to United States it is proposed to establish a fixed westbound transport lane to be used throughout year, and to publish this lane in pilot charts, and to request all traffic to keep specially bright lookout in crossing lane and to cross so far as practicable during daylight.
2. Lane proposed will pass through position “A” Latitude 47º 30’ N. Longitude 10º W. thence on great circle to Position “B” Latitude 39º 30’ N. Longitude 47º W. Ships for New York or Delaware after passing “B” steer direct for Position “C” Latitude 39º 50’ N. Longitude 70º W. thence direct for destination. Ships for Chesapeake after passing Position “B” steer direct for Chesapeake.
3. This lane will be primarily for transports bound to New York or ports south. Nothing will prevent transports from following a more southerly route if this becomes desirable.
4. Transports sailing for ports north of New York will follow regular great circle lane from Scillies2 to destination. Lanes referred to were agreed to in 1913 and are shown on U.S. pilot charts and on Admiralty chart #20583
5. Westbound cargo vessels to follow special transport lane throughout year or more southerly route. Cargo vessels bound for ports north of New York follow same procedure as paragraph 4 if weather permits.
6. All eastbound vessels whether cargo vessels or troop transports to follow procedure recommended in my 9295.4
7. Westbound loaded transports to be sailed so as to cross north and south traffic in Bay of Biscay so far as possible during daylight.
8. All troop transports to be fitted with speed light on main truck for use as range light.
9. Transports carrying small amount personnel to follow either special transport lane or procedure of paragraph #4 at discretion. Your 4656 174714 9705
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The Office of Naval Operations approved these proposals with only slight modifications. See, Capt. William V. Pratt to Sims, 16 November 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.
Footnote 1: This cable has not been found.
Footnote 2: The Isles of Scilly, a series of islands off the Cornish coast of England.
Footnote 3: This chart has not been found.
Footnote 4: This document has not been found.