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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Rear Admiral Nathaniel R. Usher, Commandant, Third Naval District






19 September 1917




Radioed: Department desires as many possible of following vessels to sail for distant service at earliest practicable date USS MAY WEEONAH2 ARTEMIS MARGARET RAMBLER LYDONIA CYTHERA DRUID HELENITA3 period in case one or more of above vessels cannot be gotten ready at an early date their sailing will be deferred until another group is ready period Department desires Commander Evans assumes charge of <first> group period.4 Evans recommend date of sailing and names of vessels to be taken. Acknowledge


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The message is typed on a dispatch form that includes lines for information on the date and time when the message was received, the number, operator who received it, the telegraph system, etc. None of this information is entered except the time in which someone handwrote “520.” Document reference number: “OP-11-A OCO-1628/OH-587.” There is a very faint line at the bottom of the message that is crossed through. Above it someone has written “U.S.S. MAY, Comdt, Third Naval Dist, Navsta, N.Y.-15019.”

Footnote 1: The Third Naval District, headquartered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (“NAVSTA NEW YORK”), included Connecticut, New York, northern New Jersey, and Puerto Rico.

Footnote 2: That is Wenonah.

Footnote 3: The ships listed were retrofitted civilian yachts purchased by the United States Navy between April and August 1917. They were originally intended to be used to patrol the American coast, but the urgent need of the French for coastal patrol vessels lead to the yachts being dispatched to the Caribbean, Azores, and French coastal waters. Stills, Crisis at Sea: 311.

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Franck T. Evans, Commander, May.