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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


Cablegram Received Sept. 29, 1917.

Origin    Opnav,Washington                 Serial No:Opnav 548

Via            N C B R 13                       Date No. 19028

Copies to C.ofS.;J.V.B1                       File No.11-10-7

Action referred to:

     C. of S.


Opnav 548. Reply your 587.2 This cable has been referred to Commander Cruiser Force and Commander Squadron two cruiser force3 who themselves control all convoy operations under out jurisdiction. For your information you will be furnished with copies of rules showing extent of authority which can be excercised by Senior Naval Officers on board chartered army transports. This authority is complete while at sea in so far as movements and control of gun fire is concerned?<.> Regular line officers of rank of not less than Lieutenant Commander have always been assigned as Senior on troop transports and on army supply ships Naval officers of the reserve is detailed. Every movement for military defense of vessel is under his direction while at sea. Department will do its utmost to correct all errors but hopes situation is not as grave as language of your cable would indicate 19028.

Admiral Benson.           

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers in upper-right corner: “R 1078/3/C/R/I”.

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ Chief of Staff, and Cmdr. John V. Babcock, Sims’ aide.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Albert Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet and Cmdr. David F. Sellers, Commander, Squadron Two, Cruiser Force.

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